We have hundreds of designs, and separate design elements, for you to select from. This allows families to create a fitting design by simply mixing and matching designs and emblems. However, keep in mind that we are a custom monument company and can do virtually anything you want when it comes to artwork. Please visit our photo gallery to see some of our custom, and traditional, memorials. In the end… you are the boss and we will be happy to design whatever you would like.
As you consider your memorial design there are four basic decisions to keep in mind; layout, lettering, carving style and what artwork you want.
When selecting the layout or placement of lettering, and artwork, keep in mind that your memorial starts as a blank canvas... we suggest that the first thing your eyes should be drawn to is the name, then the dates, and finally the artwork and epitaphs.
There are two items to consider with lettering: 1.) Type of engraving 2.) Font
Our standard types of letter engraving are shown here:
*V-sunk letters in a panel (an area where the polish has been removed) are the easiest to read and work well on all granite colors. We do not recommend using v-sunk letters unless they are in a panel
*Polished outlined letters in a panel work well on darker granites
*Axed outlined letters work best on dark granites
*Scoop letters should only be used on dark (black) granite
*Shadow outline are like axed outline only right side outline is extra wide
*Vermarco lettering in a beadless (not outlined) panel is used primarily for epitaphs
As a general rule we use a traditional roman font because it is the easiest to read. That being said, we of course can do other fonts depending on their complexity, the style in which they are engraved, and the lettering size.
Types of carving
There are two basic types of carving; flat and shape
This is the most common carving style. It means the object is two dimensional and has the polish frosted off with the "beadlines" of the image v-sunk into the granite. ( As shown above in the Christ and Mary carving).
The wild rose to the right is shape carved. Notice that the leaves and flower peddles are contoured. Shape carving is primarily done on leaves, flowers, and other plant like images.
With these styles of carving the smallest detail normally used is about the diameter of a pencil. If you wish finer detail you should consider etching.
Other types of carving are: etching, bias relief, and full sculpturing
Etching can be done by laser, or by hand, with a diamond engraver. Etching allows for details to be shown as small as individual animal feathers or hair. We can also do photo quality portrait work with our laser engraver for those wishing to have a picture engraved on their memorial. (Patten will only etch on black granite.)
This is very deep statue like carving. The figure stands out from the surface of the monument. This is done by hand held tools and works best with fine grain granite.
Here the artist actually sculptures the figure, or flower, in full round, like a statue. Modern day tools have reduced the cost of this artwork to now be affordable to many.
Whether you want something very simple, or a design reflecting the complexity of your loved one's personality, we can help. Artwork should of course complement the person the marker is for. If they were a very strong person something like an oak leaf design may be appropriate. Did the couple have a long and loving relationship?…perhaps a heart cradled in roses, with their marriage date on it, would be fitting. Perhaps they operated a local farm and wish a scene from their farm carved on the memorial; this would not be a problem. All you need to do is share with us your thoughts of what you want depicted on the memorial and we will help you create a custom design fitting for you.