Wording For A Memorial Plaque

Ideas, Inspiration & Guidance

It's important to find the right wording for a memorial plaque. You want something that really captures the person's personality. It will possibly require some thought to find just the right words that convey their uniqueness. To help you find those here are a few ideas and questions you can ask yourself for a spark of inspiration. We'll also guide you through some of the practical considerations of composing the wording for your plaque.

Questions you can ask yourself

What would you like people to know about them? Is there something you would like to say to them?

What was their personality? Is there something they always used to say? What would they say if they were here now?

You can think about their gift to the world. How did they make the world a better place? Who did they inspire? What was the one thing that you would say that made them special?

What did they love to do? Their hobby or pastime is something you can think about. What made them happy? What were they passionate about?

What did they achieve? What is their legacy? It could be a professional, academic or sports achievement. Perhaps looking after their friends and family was their greatest achievement. Ask yourself what made them a success in life. What did they mean to people?

Sources Of Inspiration

There are a few places you can get inspiration for memorial plaque wording. Maybe you would like to use a quote. If they were religious then you can choose a religious quote. Perhaps choose a quote from there favourite book or movie. You can include a lyric from a song with sentimental meaning. Who was their favourite singer or band? It could also be a verse from a poem or hymn. Of course the quote or verse can also be in another language.

Reading through some epitaphs and memorial verses will give you ideas. Here are a few resource links on famous epitaphs, memorial verses and advice on how to write your own.


Practical Guidance

There are also practical considerations worth taking into account when thinking about the wording for a memorial plaque. The number of letters, the number of lines, the size of the plaque and the choice of type fonts all have to be considered. Let's have a look at these in more detail...

Traditionally the lettering on a bronze memorial plaque is all in uppercase but you can have upper and lower case lettering if you like. You may possibly get more letters onto each line because lower case letters take up less space than Upper case but you also have to take into account that we can only guarantee the quality of lettering down to about 6mm in height. We can sometimes go down to about 3mm letters if there aren't too many. Also some typefaces will reproduce smaller than others depending on the boldness of the font and also the size of things such as the hole in the middle of an 'A' for example.

You may want to consider the total number of letters on your plaque. There is a practical limit of how many letters we can get on different size plaques. For example a small bronze memorial tree plaque will have approximately 10-35 letters per line and 4-6 lines in total. A bronze memorial bench plaque will have approximately 5-15 letters per line on 3-4 lines. A large bronze war memorial plaque could have 20-30 letters per line spread over 20-25 lines.

Also think about how many lines you want to use. A traditional format for a small plaque is an opening line. The next line is the persons name in a larger font. This is followed by the date of birth to the date of death. You can then possibly include another line below that. If you are thinking of including a quote or memorial verse then you will need a few more lines. If that's the case then perhaps you are looking for a larger plaque.


We can advise you of the best lettering and layout for your plaque. Please telephone us on 01274 965663 or contact us via our online form.