Headstones are often traditional, but unique design ideas such as dolphins, dragonflies, owls and snowmen are available to express the personality or interests of the deceased. Sports themes, pet portraits and cartoon characters are just a few of the unique design choices available by headstone manufacturers.
Headstones can be customized to be as unique as the individual it represents, and they need not be flat or square. A pair of stone palm trees can mark a couple's grave, or a marble bear might sit atop the grave of an avid hunter. A monument bench invites visitors to sit and pause for reflection. A carved granite bowling ball might be perfect for a bowler. A carved set of stacked building blocks, a toy train set or a stone reproduction of a favorite doll are unique children's headstones. Karin Sprague Stone Carvers offers hand carved sculptural headstones on their website, KarinSprague.com. On their work, 3-D turtles and flying angels adorn slabs and pillars.
Technology also enables the exact reproduction of photos onto the stone surface, either carved into the stone or digitally rendered in full color on a ceramic embellishment. Former portraits or photos of the deceased doing favorite activities are common themes.