Preparing Photos and Text for Memorial Cards – Tips

memorial-card-textThe text below applies mostly to custom designed memorial cards. If you use our online designs, things are much easier. You will simply fill a form and upload photos where needed. You will get text suggestions at every step and see the final card design online before ordering.

There will be no need to wait for designer’s response, as the online proofs are instant.

It is up to you to decide if existing designs suit your needs or if you need a custom designed card. The difference in price is reasonable – 50 euro regardless of quantity of the cards. Many Irish print companies charge more per hour of designer’s work.

We accept your card’s content in any form. Digital files from cameras/phones, prints, photocopies, handwritten pieces, drawn hard copies, emails, posted memory sticks or SD cards – it is our job to put all this together for you and create a great memorial card.

We can scan photos directly from negatives, slides and more exotic medium format films.

It is enough just to provide us with whatever information your have, in whatever form. We will create the design for you based on what you supply and any directions/ideas you may give to us.

The steps and tips below are meant to give you a better understanding of the whole process. They are not required but it would be helpful if you follow them.

Also, please bear in mind that if you have any problems or questions we are always there to help and advise. So – whatever the matter – please do not hesitate to talk to us.

When you prepare your photos and text for memorial card it makes sense to do it in a way that makes designer’s life easy. Why? The easier your information is to understand and use, the more time the designer will spend designing.

Instead of trying to make sense of the information you provided, he or she will be able to focus on the graphic part of your job. In every company the amount of time that can be spent doing a given job is finite. By being well prepared you are making sure the designer’s effort is placed where it will directly benefit the quality of design.

If you would like to see how standard memorial cards look like, please head over to our memorial card photo gallery with real life photos.

Preparing content of a memorial card

The first step is to prepare your content. The content usually consists of text and photographs. The images below show typical content and wording of a memorial/in memoriam card.

Outside of memorial card, standard wording, images and content.
Outside of memorial card, standard wording, images and content.


Inside of memorial card. Standard wording, address, photo and verse location.

Preparing your text

Memorial card text usually consists of poems, verses or quotes and information about the deceased – as per the above image.

All the text should ideally be in electronic format so you can copy and paste it into email. Surprisingly many graphic designers are poor typists. By typing your own text you ensure it is correct and enable your job to be processed quickly.

If you plan to use Irish language on your card, providing text is a must. The reality is that for many graphic designers Irish is a foreign language. Unless they come from a Gaeltacht they more than likely have just a “cúpla focal”. They can type Irish from a printed copy with some effort. Handwritten Irish may be impossible to read for them. Just find some samples of handwriting in foreign languages and try to read them – you will realise how difficult it is.

Preparing your photos

Usually the customers just send whatever they have and let us evaluate and fix the photos. The images usually consist of one or more photos of the deceased and other imagery to be used as backgrounds or graphic elements. Sometimes we are asked to source a photo of certain object or place. Having access to stock photo library we are usually able to accommodate such request.

The supplied photographs should be in digital format. You can also post us original prints and we will scan and return them at no extra cost. This however should be the last resort. The prints may be damaged or lost and if they are the only copies you have, you should not take any chances with them.

You can get your photo prints scanned in any office supplies store, internet cafe etc.

Sometimes we encounter photos taken by professional photographers during social occasions. If you are planning to use such photo, it is best to ask the photographer for a photo of highest possible resolution. You may be tempted to use a photo from facebook but facebook downgrades the resolution and quality in order to serve the photos fast. It is always best way to ask the photographer for originals.

By the way – if you are getting photos from friends you may be tempted to get them sent through facebook’s chat. Do not do this – photos sent through chat ale also downgraded quality-wise.

Memorial Cards
Some of our memorial cards printed.

If you are curious about what technical best practices are, read the paragraphs below. They are a bit technical.

Photographs can be either digital photos from digital camera or scanned from physical prints.
If you are using digital photos make sure you are sending unmodified source files.

Modern smartphones and tablets have a lot of effects that aim at improving quality of the photos. In fact those effects are often of “one size fits all” type. They will never match what a designer can do manually and changes those filters introduce are irreversible. So – do not use them.

If you are scanning prints (or getting them scanned) make sure the resolution is high. It is always better to have too high resolution than too low.

Photo prints should be scanned at 300-600dpi (dpi stands for dots per inch). You can pass this information to whoever is doing the scans for you or use the settings yourself if you own a scanner.

Assign content to pages

Once you have your content prepared, you can assign the content to pages. You can do this by simply describing what pieces of supplied content you want on certain pages.

In standard folded memorial card pages are numbered 1 to 4 and are called front, inside left, inside right and back – as per the image above.

Example custom In Memoriam Card brief

This example shows how to prepare your information to be sent to designer. It is simple but you can expand upon it and add more detailed description to each page. The example assumes the information being sent by email.

Page 1
Use attached croagh-patrick-image.jpg as a background and make it wrap around to page 4
Heading to read “In Loving Memory of John”
Insert dates 1956 – 2014
Use image of a Celtic cross.

Page 2
Use attached john-portrait.jpg in a square frame
Text underneath the photo should read

In Loving Memory of
John Dunne
Dame Street, Dublin
Died 19 December 2014
Aged 58 years

Rest in Peace

Page 3
Use Celtic style frame
Use the following verse:
God Saw You Getting Tired

God saw you getting tired
and a cure was not to be
so he put his arms around you
and whispered,
“Come to Me”

With tearful eyes we watched you
and saw you pass away
and although we love you dearly
we could not make you stay.

A Golden heart stopped beating
hard working hands at rest.
God broke our hearts to prove to us
He only takes the best

Page 4
Use Celtic style frame
Use the following verse:

There is no night without
a dawning,
No Winter without a Spring,
And beyond death’s
dark horizon
Our hearts once more will sing For those who leave us
for a while, have only
gone away
Out of restless,
careworn world,
Into a “Brighter Day”

Communicating with your designer

Shortly after sending your information you will receive a proof of your card. It is very likely that you would like to introduce changes or corrections.

Please use page numbers when describing your changes. You can also use line numbers if you need to correct specific word in a block of text.

If you do not like the overall design, do not hesitate to say so. Try to be specific in describing what you do not like. If you have ideas that can make the design better – just pass them on to the designer.

It is crucial that you are happy with the design. It is created for you and you should be in full control at all times.

Also if you are not sure if current design is best, ask the designer to provide an alternative. Often being able to compare two designs will lead to a better outcome.

It is also a good idea to show the design to family and friends. Their opinions may be valuable and getting them involved in the design process is a good thing.

If you are looking to order custom memorial cards please have a look at our prices and custom design information.

You can also place your order now just by clicking the product below. On the next page just select the quantity and add to cart.

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