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Technical: art for tombstone (laser?)

Jun 28, 2013 10:26 AM

A friend's relative just passed and I have a handfull of images important to this person..more than enough to produce something from a creative standpoint.


However, I don't know the technical requirements/limitations of the tomb-stone business. I presume it will be laser-etched, based on the level of detail I see on the companies' other tomb stones.


My question is: advice about producing art which will  have the best chance of looking great on the final stone. The company says "at some point, you'll have to trust our designers to produce the final art" but that leaves me with the queasy sense that what the family approves might get changed in a way they don't like.


That's why I'd like suggestions on how to produce the most tombstone-friendly art possible.


One thing I assume is that detail beyond a certain level simply won't make it, so I'm opting for simpler shapes. nothing too fine.


Then there's the polished versus non-polished stone. Does stone-polishing happen before laser-etching?


thank you for any thoughts on this!



  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 28, 2013 10:45 AM   in reply to wkjeiwoi

    Etching happens after the stone is polished. Simple and bold is all you need to do, as you already stated.  Finer detail will not hold over the years if too thin, or natural imperfections in the stone can cause thin lines will crack or slowly weather away.


    If the type or lineart is too thing than you will not see this from a distance. You can trust the etchers they will miter corners, thicken your strokes and let you know if what you submit is not usable. Best thing you can do is give them something clean and simple and not try to put too much.


    There ae other photographic options(more popular in Europe) besides etching. If you have never done this before, visit a cemetery for some great inspiration.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 28, 2013 3:36 PM   in reply to wkjeiwoi

    Glad I could help.  I only had a few weeks experience doing this, but sincerely minimalism (less is more) done tastefully will give you the best results for engraving.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 28, 2013 7:19 PM   in reply to wkjeiwoi

    I just went through the preliminary stages of stone design.  My family has opted for a non-polished stone, except for the top.  I based my layout on an existing template from a monument vendor.  I added a custom ribbon and used one of my Postcript fonts.  The disappointment came when the monument vendor told us that we had to use one of their fonts.  If we used my fonts, they had to be hand drawn.  I was shocked.  I had no idea they had absolutely no computer capabilities.  We were told that they ( the production company ) would try to sdhere to our design as long as we used their fonts.  We will be able to see the design before they carve it.  I hope we get something close to what I created, but I'm not holding my breadth.  If my family was not "sold" on this particular monument company, I would shop around until I found someone who could do the stone the way it is intended.  My family is the client, so they want to proceed.  If it were me, I'd walk away, unless I'm wrong and all of the monument companies are the same.  This I doubt.  I'll let you know how it works out if you let me know how your turns out.  Good luck.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 2, 2013 12:29 PM   in reply to wkjeiwoi

    Any possibilty you could share who you are using?  Does the company have a web site?


    Please let me know because I continue to get compromises and disappointments using the company I've been in touch with.  "No limitations" sounds good to me.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 2, 2013 3:08 PM   in reply to wkjeiwoi

    Understood.  What file types are they ( your vendor ) willing to accept?


    The entire monument industry seems to be somewhat limited to CAD type applications, but not much more than that.

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