Memorial Inscriptions

There are some things that can be particularly difficult to articulate with words. Love can be a challenging thing to express at the best of times, but we appreciate that memorial inscriptions can be particularly tough. That is why we wanted to open a conversation around modern and traditional memorial inscriptions. We hope chatting through the process will be reassuring – you’re not alone in this difficult time, and we’re here to help as best as we can. 

Traditional Memorial Etiquette and Formatting 

As you might imagine, memorials have existed for thousands of years – as early as 3000 B.C with the original headstones. It wasn’t until the 1600’s that memorials became more commonplace in cemeteries and graveyards. Today, families and communities like to take the opportunity to celebrate loved ones and important figures in many ways. Placing memorial pieces in personal special locations has become a popular thing to do. As a result, some of the traditional etiquette of memorial inscriptions have faded out, although the foundations appear to have stayed the same. 

Memorials tend to include a name, date and short tribute. Traditionally, headstones and memorials in public cemeteries were a record of life, hence including the date that someone was born and passed on. Today’s memorials are more about marking a resting place or providing a celebration of life, leaving space to be creative with a memorial. Though traditional formatting remains pretty consistent across many memorials, these features are not a requirement of all memorials. We love the way that modern memorials allow individuals to be expressive in a way that was previously unorthodox. 


Arguably the most challenging part of the memorial is the tribute itself. Each person will have a differing opinion on what feels right for them, and finding the words can take time. Some general advice would be to keep it simple, take your time, and choose something that feels right. If you’re struggling to find the right words, remember that is okay too! We have a few leads that may point you in the right direction (including our regularly updated inscriptions page). Poetic words are a popular choice for memorials, as are song lyrics or affectionate turns of phrase. Try not to feel burdened by the expectation of format – ultimately, if the words feel right to you, then that is all that should matter!

Opting not to have an inscription is a choice that some make. If you’re opting for a simple and understated memorial, then this may be the right choice for you too. A less is more look is also very popular in memorial designs. Some enjoy a wordy reflection, and others prefer to keep it uncomplicated- either makes for a wonderful tribute.  

Modern Memorials 

More recently, we have seen a rise in the popularity of photo memorials. Many like to include images, creating something that reflects the individual that they are celebrating. We can engrave images or bring our memorials to life with photos alongside inscriptions, and so much more. Enabling others through our signage and memorials is what we do best.

Designing A Memorial with The Sign Maker

Crafting memorials is an immense privilege for us, It is something that we take great pride in and have over 20 years of experience with. We specialise in bespoke memorials and signage, so if you can’t see what you’re looking for in our online shop, then do get in touch with us to see what we can work out with you.

With The Sign Maker, you’re in safe hands, and we will not only listen to you, but advise you through the process to ensure that you are happy with the final result. We care about our memorial signage because we know how much these pieces mean to you. Designing a memorial may seem like a daunting process, but we hope to be the ones to support you through it. 

Telephone: 01769 561355 | Email: |

Leave a Reply