Inscription Guide

Inscription Recommendations


Columbarium or Ossuarium stone niche fronts, unlike headstones in a cemetery, are in close proximity to each other and work together as a visual whole. Without care and management, the Columbarium could look disorganized and become visually unappealing to future niche purchasers. Below are some recommendations from Eickhof to help you avoid common difficulties found while dealing with Inscription Services.

Note – Below we use the terms “Columbarium” and “Niche Fronts”, but these recommendations apply to any Eickhof supplied memorial product and its removable facing material.

With Eickhof as your partner, your management decisions only need to be made once and your templates and files are securely stored on our cloud. Each time an inscription is requested, we check it against your layout to give your columbarium the best look possible.


Eickhof recommends selecting an individual, or small committee, to manage the columbarium and associated items, such as urns and inscriptions. This helps families who purchase a niche by having a single point of contact to ask questions.

For inscriptions specifically, this person would:

  • Be a representative between your inscription vendor and the family
  • Keep track of contact information for both sides and answer questions to make the inscription process go as smoothly as possible
  • Keep track of the columbarium policies on what is or is not allowed on an inscription order – such as emblems, personalization text, or space limitations
  • Keep track of vendor policies on placing orders
  • Keep track of order forms and how to fill them out
  • Get information from the family for the inscription order
  • Remove, or organize the removal of, the niche fronts for inscribing (see more below)
  • Manage shipping boxes – such as those used with Eickhof’s service
  • Work with the vendor if a rush order is needed
  • Keep track of current prices and price changes

Utilize Only One Inscription Vendor

We recommend utilizing only one inscription vendor at a time, even if it is not Eickhof. This will help keep a constant appearance over the whole columbarium.

Remove Fronts
for Inscription

If a local inscription provider is used, Eickhof recommends removing the niche front from the columbarium during the inscription process.

This is especially important if your vendor uses a sandblasting method. Engraving sand can spread and settle into the threaded pieces of our hardware. This can cause future maintenance issues and difficulty with opening the niches.

Separate Inscription Costs from Your Niche Price

We recommend pricing the inscriptions, as well as the urns, separately from the initial niche sale price. It may seem easiest to include everything in one lump sum, but this can cause losses later depending on the age of the niche purchaser. For example, if you pre-sell a niche to a 30-year-old who is preparing for the future, they may not use the niche for 20+ years. Who will pay for the difference in urn and inscription prices?

If you still want to include the inscription and urn prices in the niche cost, there are a couple of options to keep you from getting the short end of the deal.

Purchase the urn(s) at the time of the niche sale. Then your urn cost won’t go up. These can be stored at your location or provided to the niche owner to keep until needed. In the second case, if they lose the urn, it would be their cost to replace it.

Select a certain dollar amount for completing an inscription. Then if the inscription costs increase over time, or the family wants customization, the extra cost can be charged directly to the family. Then they can decide if the customization is worth the expense, which for some it is. Customization can be another line for their nickname, an emblem, or a quote.

Select Only One Layout

Your inscription layout is the overall appearance and spacing of your inscriptions. This includes fonts, letter sizes, where the names and dates are placed for companion occupancy, an option for single occupancy, emblem spaces, and quote spaces.

Your inscription format is how certain reoccurring cases are dealt with inside the limits of your layout. This includes your date format, how nicknames and maiden names are listed, and how Prefixes and Suffixes are handled.

We define customization as any text or emblem beyond an individual’s given or married name and life dates.

  • We do NOT recommend allowing families free rein on designing their own niche front inscription layout. As stated above, columbarium niche fronts work together as a visual whole. If the layouts the families choose are differently spaced, in different fonts and font sizes, or completed by different inscription vendors, the columbarium will look disorganized.
  • Select one (or a maximum of two) layouts for use on the whole columbarium. This will help keep a constant appearance over the whole columbarium.
  • You can put “rules” in place about the layout and still have options for customization.
  • Note – Memorial Bands® or memorial panels may have a different layout than the one or two selected for the niche front since they are a different type of memorial.