Choosing and/or designing a headstone for a loved one can be a somber, yet rewarding process. You want to make sure the headstone is appealing and represents your loved one well.


Some questions you may ask yourself are:


  • What style of headstone should I go with?
  • What color stone do I like best?
  • What text and designs will go on the headstone?


This guide is a good resource for anyone choosing a headstone for a loved one. Below is a list of steps you can follow for choosing/designing the perfect headstone.


Picking a Style of Headstone


There are many styles of headstones to choose from. The most popular types of headstones are:


  • Flat Headstones (or grass markers) – are set flat and flush to the ground. Typically rectangular in shape
  • Bevel Headstones – same as a flat headstone but bevel headstones are raised and cut on a slight angle like a wedge
  • Slant Headstones – stand upright and the cut of the headstone’s face is slanted. Can be set with or without a base
  • Upright Headstones – tablet style headstone that sits on a sturdy base
  • Memorial Benches – the three most common types of memorial benches are: park bench, pedestal bench, and harp leg bench
  • Custom Headstones – headstones that are 100% personalized and unique and can range in size and design

Picking the Headstone Color


Most headstones are made from granite due to the following reasons:


  • Durability – granite is a hard stone which will last a lifetime and beyond
  • Maintenance – granite headstones require little maintenance and can withstand harsh environmental conditions
  • Variety – granite stone comes in a large variety of colors


Below is a list of granite colors to choose from. Please note that the ‘White Marble’ is marble and not granite.


Headstone Wording & Design/Artwork


Now that you’ve decided on the style and color of the headstone, it is time to decide what will appear on the headstone. 


The inscription (wording and designs/artwork) style can help differentiate your loved one’s headstone from others and make it more unique. The 3 most common inscriptions on a headstone are:


  • the deceased’s name
  • the deceased’s date of birth
  • the deceased’s date of death

Other common wording inscriptions include:

  • the deceased’s wedding date
  • the deceased’s childrens names
  • an epitaph – a short message in memory of the deceased


Common designs and artwork:

  • Hobbies
  • Scenery

Accents: (Additional Enhancements)


Below is a list of additional headstone enhancements to choose from. These are optional enhancements that can help personalize headstones.


  • Special Artwork
  • Porcelain Photo
  • Laser Etching (Black Granite Headstones Only)
  • Vases or Flower Holes
  • Shape Carving/Sculpting
  • Bronze Hero Medallions
  • Bronze Vet Plaques

We hope this headstone guide has been helpful. To get started on designing a headstone for yourself or a loved one, please fill out the form on our Contact Us page or call us at (435) 752-4949.