According to Impact! Architectural Signs, a memorial plague should begin with phrases like "In Memory of," "In Loving Memory" or "In Honor of." MemorialPlaquesPlus.com notes the first phrases are often encased in bold lettering. The next line typically entails the person's full name. If there is a nickname, it can be included between or at the end of the name. Quotation marks work well in identifying the nickname.
The following line includes the year of birth and death of the deceased. The rest would be something special about the departed. A favorite quote suffices, or something special the deceased has done in life. A humorous quote brings levity to an otherwise solemn atmosphere. A poem or scripture verse also makes the plaque more unique. Impactsigns.com adds that it is important to use any form of wording that adds personality and exudes that person's character. It is also essential to be mindful of the lettering. Bold letters tend to take up space. SpecialistMetalworkSkills.com recommends that it would be best to use lower case letters in some cases, if the wording is long. A larger plaque is necessary for anything longer than 25 lines. A small tree or bench memorial plaque typically has around four lines.