If you’ve decided to have an inscription engraved on a loved one’s glasstone (headstone), there are a few questions you’ll typically need to answer:

  • What wording should I include on the headstone or memorial?
    Flower rose red leaf pattern slumped glass headstone glasstone memorial grave plaque
  • What style of inscription should I choose?
  • Will I include a picture/drawing?
  • What colours do I want?
  • Will I be leaving room for another family member?

This page takes you through these questions, with explanations and some illustrations to make your decision-making process that little bit easier.

If you’d like information on selecting and/or designing a headstone or monument, email us or visit our headstones and memorial plaques page.

Headstone terminology

The world of headstones and monuments can involve a lot of unfamiliar words and phrases. If there are any terms for which you’d like an explanation, please let us know. Please feel free to use google, pinterest and other search engines to get inspiration. We are happy to help guide you through should you need additional help.

Wording of a memorial inscription

The engraved wording on a loved one’s gravestone is important for a number of reasons:

  • it can be a final farewell message from you and your family;
  • it can reflect something special or unique about the deceased;
  • it can include a message that the deceased wished to share;
  • it can serve as a reminder about the deceased for those who visit in years to come.

The wording on a headstone often includes:

  • the deceased’s full name;
  • the deceased’s date of birth and date of death;
  • an epitaph – that is, a short message in memory of the deceased.

Selecting the wording for an epitaph can be difficult – it’s likely you’ll want to get it just right. It’s ok to take your time, and to ask friends and family, or even our design team for suggestions. You might also seek inspiration from the examples we’ve included below.

Headstone wording: epitaph/wording examples

Beloved mother and wife.
Beloved Brother, Father, Grandfather and Friend.

Always in our thoughts. Forever in our hearts.

A true fighter to the end. His strength and spirit will live with us forever.

God has her in his keeping. We have her in our hearts.

An inspiration to us all.

Sadly missed by your loving family.

At peace in God’s hands.

Style and design of a headstone inscription

The style of the memorial inscription is important because it plays a key role in creating the look of the glasstone. The inscription style can help differentiate your loved one’s headstone and make it more unique. Don’t forget to leave room if necessary for an additional inscription.

Inscription font or lettering

The lettering of the inscription can usually be done in a number of different fonts. It is important to determine the fonts that are best suited to the glasstone you have selected. This is because some fonts require a deep cut which may not look sharp or clear on particular types of stone. The font you choose may also be affected by the length of your message and size of the headstone, as some fonts are not suited to a smaller letter size.

A headstone usually features 2 or 3 different fonts.

Fonts for headstones tend to fall into four categories:

  1. Serif         

  2. Sans Serif 

  3. Gothic       

  4. Script         


Headstones often feature symbols and photos/drawings

Also consider if you would like to include some kind of symbol (for example, a religious symbol) amongst the text, and/or if you’d like an image engraved on to the face of the glasstone.
Images can be coloured or left the same colour as your inscription.

Examples of pictures/drawings: your only limit is your imagination.
Rainbow glass headstoneGreen Glass headstone with coloured red rose and inscription memorialSlumped image in back of glass - shearer from photograph