Last updated November 16th, 2023
Here you will find everything you may want to know about memorial cards. This page is also a good starting point to order your cards when you are ready.
Please use live chat or other contact methods to get quick answers to your questions or if you need help with ordering cards.
Table of Contents
Dimensions, Layout, Printing, Paper & Finish
Standard Memorial Card Dimensions
Standard dimensions of folded memorial cards are 72mm/2.8″ wide by 115mm/4.5″ tall. We use these dimensions ourselves.
These sizes may vary by some small amount depending on in-house workflow of a particular printing company. But if you want to create standard, typical memorial cards – you are perfectly safe by going with the above dimensions.
Typical Memorial Card Layout
The fastest way to familiarise yourself with standard memorial card layout and multiple variations of backgrounds, verses, frames etc. is to watch the video below:
The video shows our MP51 design template, you can personalise it here. All our memorial card designs have videos like the one above.
Memorial cards (also In Memoriam, In Loving Memory cards) have 4 pages and fold in half. They usually feature a photograph of the deceased, information like date of birth, date of death, age, address (usually town and street, full address is not required and hardly ever used).
For women maiden name is often given, e.g. Mary Burke née Kelly. It is not very common, but common enough to notice and mention it. So if you choose to include maiden name, it will not be an exception.
Prayers, verses and poems are commonly used as well.
As you can see the we can break the whole design of a memorial card down to less than 10 elements. And many of those elements are optional.
The video below shows standard design of a memorial card. Skip to 1:00 to view layout details.
Printing, Paper & Finish
Nowadays all memorial cards are printed digitally. This makes them very durable even without any extra finishing. Digital printing paper is always heavily coated. It is almost like a sheet of plastic.
The paper used for printing memorial cards is about 300 gram per square metre (GSM). You may ask why not 400 or heavier? The answer is simple: because heavier paper would not fold well and thus the cards would not fit well into envelope (memorial cards are folded).
Bear in mind that memorial cards are laminated – this adds a good bit to the overall stiffness too. While non-laminated 350gsm paper folds without problems, it will give trouble once laminated. Spine cracking is also more likely to occur above 300gsm. The thicker paper simply has to stretch more where bent/folding occurs.
So 300gsm paper appears to be the sweet spot paper weight for memorial cards – and this is what we use.
Toner that is used by digital printing differs from traditional printers’ ink. It consists of tiny plastic particles that form image on electrically charged drum and then they get fused to the paper using high temperature.
So the technique is very different from ink-based printing methods like offset printing used for large runs.
After printing digitally we already have very durable prints compared to prints done in the pre-digital era. Lamination (plastic finish or plastic film coating) comes on top of that.
Lamination gives memorial cards their shiny / glossy look and greatly improves durability of the cards.
The last step is creasing. Creasing allows for a clean, crack-free folding of the cards. Without it the spine would crack (digital prints are prone to this) and plastic film would get separated from the paper around the spine.
Your takeaway from here should be that you should not worry about durability of the cards. They will easily outlive us and our grandchildren.
Envelopes for Memorial Cards
If you are ordering from us then you do not need to worry about envelopes. We include matching envelopes with all orders.
Envelopes we use are 120x80mm in size (4.5″x3.2″), plain white, 100gsm, gummed (So you can seal them). They offer best fit for folded memorial cards.
120x80mm envelopes are sometimes incorrectly called C7 – if you are trying to buy them yourself better check dimensions as these can vary depending on manufacturer.
Many memorial card companies in Ireland also use 95x121mm (3.75″/ 4.75″) envelopes.
While not exactly the size of a folded memorial card, this envelope size is also suitable for acknowledgement cards. So if you order acknowledgement cards from us, you will receive 95×121 envelopes.
Being suitable for both memorial and acknowledgement cards makes them popular as many companies do not want to stock many different envelope sizes. Having “one size fits all” envelope type simplifies order fulfillment.
The size difference between 80×120 and 95×121 is not significant.
Folded memorial card fits perfectly into such envelopes – and so does slightly larger acknowledgement card (90x115mm).
If you are looking to buy envelopes for memorial cards, it can quickly become a frustrating task. Such envelopes are becoming increasingly difficult to source, especially if you are looking for smaller quantities.
In Ireland there are 2-3 wholesalers who stock them (you may have to buy packs of 1000).
The closest readily available and cheap envelopes are C6. They are slightly too large (see size comparison below), but usable in absence of correctly sized envelopes.
Unfortunately flat (unfolded) memorial card will not fit C6 envelope as it is slightly too tall (card: 115mm tall – C6 envelope: 114mm tall).
Important Card Design Elements
Memorial Card Headings
While it is not required, most memorial cards use some sort of a heading on front page. Usually it just says “In Loving Memory”. There are however other suitable headings too – and our customers do use them when ordering the cards.
Heading choice is a matter of personal taste, so use yours and you’ll be fine.
Below you can see some of the headings we use (they are available when you personalise our online designs):
As you can see apart from “In loving memory” you can also use “In Memoriam” (popular one), “Forever Remembered“, “Always in our Hearts” – all those are perfectly valid headings.
You can also use word “Remembering” followed by the name of the person, e.g. “Remembering Janet”, “Remembering Mike” and so on.
Verses and Poems suitable for memorial cards
Below you can see our collection of poems and verses. These verses are pulled automatically from our personalisation system. This means they are guaranteed to be available to select just by clicking them during personalisation.
You can consider this to be a collection of most popular verses – we compiled it over years and it is heavily influenced by what our customers wanted. Please note that this list is most accurate for Ireland, as we are located here.
You are not limited to our verses. We insert custom verses free of charge, just select custom verse option during personalisation.
Memorial Cards’ Backgrounds
Typical memorial card backgrounds
Backgrounds play an important role in memorial card design as they determine the overall look of the card. The backgrounds usually fall into one of those four categories: Scenic, Floral, Religious, Celtic/Irish.
In custom designed cards you can use backgrounds related to the deceased. You can show locality, hobby, sport, occupation etc.
Our approach to backgrounds
Many memorial card companies count background change as a separate design. This leads to flooding their product listings with designs offering no variation apart from the background change.
Our approach is different – we present you the simplest version of each design and let you see backgrounds that you can select to further customise your card. This is achieved by adding “Show All Background Styles” button to our listings.
Video below can illustrate how background choice changes the look of the card (this example is MP60 memorial card design).
Quickly find a layout you like – then customise it further by choosing a background. This is our own unique invention, no other memorial card company (in Ireland or elsewhere) does it.
If we did things like everyone else, you would have to wade through more than 30 pages with 50 almost-same-looking designs on each. Most people would not get even half way through. This would significantly narrow down your choice and make you tired before you even started.
We believe this way we make it much easier to select a design template and offer rich choice without overwhelming and boring our clients.
Our approach also lets us add many backgrounds at any time without flooding and diluting our product listings.
Moreover – it takes precisely three clicks (about 5 seconds when you get the hang of it) to test your personalised card with a different background. You do not need to imagine how would your card look like. Instead, you can see the card right away with your own photos and text.
This lets you make a better choice. All in the privacy of your own home, without waiting for a designer to respond.
Order Memorial Cards Online
Watch the video below to see how to personalise and order one of our online memorial card designs. We made the process as straightforward as possible.
Below you can see our popular personalisable designs. To order just pick a design and add your text & photos.
Show how to personalise & order video. (shows in an overlay without page reload).
Single Background Style
Single Background Style
Single Background Style
Single Background Style
Single Background Style
Single Background Style
All prices include delivery and envelopes.
|Folding Memorial Cards||€79||€89||€99||€109||€139||€169||€229||€279||€329|
We will deliver within 7 working days from your order or approval of final proof. If needed, this can be reliably cut down to 3 working days.
If we experience problems or delays, it will be shown on the top of each page. We update this information daily based on current workload:
Turnaround times shorter than 3 days cannot be guaranteed, but we can attempt them if you need us to.
Ordering two weeks before you need your cards is a very safe time margin.
Photos show printed samples of our online template designs.
Videos below show our personalisable memorial card designs. All our online card designs have short videos showing the layout and – if applicable – a selection of alternative backgrounds, headings etc. They give a fairly good idea of how your finished card may look like.
Memorial or in Memoriam cards – is there a difference?
To answer this question quickly – there is no difference. Both terms refer to the same thing, cards that are printed in memory of a deceased person. These cards contain date of birth, date of death, may include information about relationship with others like beloved wife/husband, mohter/father etc.
The term “In Memoriam” comes from Latin and means “in memory” or “into the memory”. In free translation it could probably be more like “To Remember”, at least if you take into account the function memorial cards have nowadays.
You can use both terms interchangeably. There does not seem to be a better or more appropriate of the two. Words “Memorial” and “Memoriam” sound very similar and have similar meaning. They both stem from Latin word “Memorare”, meaning “Remember”.
Other names used are “Remembrance Cards”, “Mortuary Cards” (rarely used) , “Eulogy Cards” (rarely used) or just “Memoriam Cards” All forms perfectly usable. Memorial cards are also referred to as “Prayer Cards”.
In Ireland we sometimes encounter people using a weird spelling version, “In Memorium” or just “Memorium”. Difficult to say where this spelling originates from but it is almost certainly wrong.
Memorare Cards are something different
Do not confuse memorial/in memoriam cards with Memorare Cards. These are different kind of card and they serve different purpose. Memorare cards bear Roman Catholic “Memorare” prayer:
The Memorare cards often depict the Blessed Virgin Mary and serve as a reminder that we can always ask Her for help. The history of this prayer is quite interesting and you can read it here.
Can “The Memorare” prayer be used on memorial cards? Of course it can and we do have customers who choose this prayer for their cards.
Free Memorial Card Templates
This template pack is aimed at designers working for general printers who may have a need to quickly create a memorial card without knowing the specifics of this type of print. You can use it as a base of your own memorial card design.
If you need to quickly design a memorial card you can download and use our free Memorial Card template (Adobe InDesign version 4 and upwards). The template pack contains simple memorial card design along with 7 types of frames and 10 verses.
Download (Adobe InDesign format)
You can download our template pack here:
Tips for Designers
Hint – if you just need to get high quality printable pdf of memorial card and do not have Adobe InDesign software, you can personalise and download one of our free designs here.
The frames and verses contained in the zip file will fit the design file if you use “paste in place” option in InDesign.
The files were created using CS6 but we also included idml files that allow you to open the design with CS4 and upwards. This means current cloud versions of InDesign will work with our download.
This template pack also contains the (open) free fonts used for in all the files.
The dimensions of the card are standard 72×115 mm. You are getting two versions of the design, single page one and spreads (144x115mm) so you can start designing in a way that suits your workflow.
The verses we included are likely the most commonly used ones, at least in Ireland. For more up to date top 10 memorial verses list go here.
The templates have frames for your photos so all you have to do is insert the photos and adjust their size to fit the frames. If you have just one photo, you can use included Chi Rho (Christogram) symbol instead of a photo. The Chi Rho symbol is commonly used on memorial cards – we placed it on a separate layer so you can easily switch it on and off.
You can also just use a simple cross in place of the photo – this would be common on memorial cards too.
It will save you time researching common memorial card design principles, common dimensions, wording, layout etc.
Create Online and Download for Free
Our website lets you create memorial cards online and download print-ready artwork completely for free.
You can then attempt some DIY or take the artwork to the print company of your choice.View free downloadable designs
To create and download a free memorial card, select a design – link above. Add selected design to cart (you do not have to pay, register or jump through any other hoops), personalise (add photos, text, select verses) and click “Download Free Hi-Res Pdf” button on the preview page.
The free artwork will be in high resolution pdf format – industry standard for printing. Every print company can work with these files and they are preferred way to supply print ready artwork.