Classic vs. Modern Tombstone Styles and Trends

Classic vs. Modern Tombstone Styles and Trends

August 31, 2023

Classic vs. Modern Tombstone Styles and Trends

When it comes to choosing a tombstone for a loved one, there are countless options available. Each style has its own unique characteristics and aesthetic appeal. Two popular choices are classic and modern tombstone styles. In this blog post, we will explore the differences between classic and modern tombstone styles and discuss the current trends in the industry.

Classic Tombstone Styles

Classic tombstone styles have stood the test of time and continue to be widely chosen for their timeless appeal. These styles often feature traditional shapes, intricate carvings, and traditional materials such as granite or marble. Let’s delve into some of the classic tombstone styles:

1. Crosses and Angels: Crosses and angel motifs are commonly seen in classic tombstone designs, reflecting religious beliefs and symbolizing hope, spirituality, and protection.

2. Traditional Upright Monuments: Upright monuments are tall, vertical stones that stand erect. They often feature engravings of names, dates, and heartfelt inscriptions. Traditional upright monuments come in various shapes and sizes, with options to customize the design and add personal touches.

3. Curved or Flat Top Monuments: These monuments have a curved or flat top and are usually made from durable stone such as granite. They provide a simple yet elegant design that is reminiscent of traditional tombstones.

4. Sculptures and Statues: Classic tombstones sometimes incorporate sculptures or statues depicting religious figures, cherubs, or other symbols of remembrance and peace.

Modern Tombstone Styles

Modern tombstones have gained popularity in recent years as people seek more contemporary and personalized options. These styles often feature sleek lines, minimalist designs, and alternative materials. Let’s explore some of the modern tombstone styles:

1. Flat Grave Markers: Flat grave markers, also known as flush markers or lawn-level markers, are placed directly on the ground above the burial site. They offer a clean, minimalist design that blends harmoniously with the surrounding landscape.

2. Custom Shapes and Designs: Modern tombstones offer a wide range of customization options, allowing for unique and personalized designs. These can include custom shapes, laser-etched images, symbols, or even QR codes that provide digital tributes or information about the deceased.

3. Contemporary Materials: Modern tombstones often utilize materials such as glass, stainless steel, bronze, or even recycled materials to achieve a contemporary look. These materials provide durability, versatility, and a distinct aesthetic appeal.

4. Cremation Memorials: With the increasing trend of cremation, modern tombstones may feature cremation-specific memorials such as cremation benches, boulders, or glass keepsakes that hold the ashes.

Current Trends in Tombstone Styles

The tombstone industry, like any other, experiences trends that reflect the evolving tastes and preferences of individuals. Here are some current trends in tombstone styles:

1. Personalization: People now prefer to customize tombstones to reflect the individuality and essence of the deceased. This can include unique designs, personalized engravings, and even incorporating elements that celebrate the person’s hobbies, interests, or achievements.

2. Environmental Sustainability: As environmental awareness grows, many individuals are opting for tombstones made from eco-friendly materials or choosing natural burial options that minimize harm to the environment.

3. Digital Memorials: With the rise of technology, digital memorials have become popular. This can include QR codes on tombstones that link to online memorials, websites, or social media pages dedicated to the deceased.

4. Use of Color: Traditional black and gray tombstones are giving way to more colorful options. People now choose tombstones in a range of hues, patterns, and finishes to create a visually striking and unique tribute.

5. Incorporating Artwork: Many individuals are commissioning professional artists to create unique, hand-carved or painted artwork on tombstones. This allows for a truly personalized and artistic tribute.

It’s important to note that personal preferences and cultural influences will ultimately guide the choice between classic and modern tombstone styles. Some may prefer the timeless elegance of classic designs, while others may gravitate towards the contemporary and personalized feel of modern styles.


Choosing a tombstone is a deeply personal decision, and it’s essential to consider the preferences and wishes of the deceased and their loved ones. Whether you opt for a classic style or embrace a modern trend, a thoughtfully chosen tombstone will serve as a lasting tribute, honoring the memory of a loved one for generations to come.

Got Questions? Let Us Help

Welcome to Phillipsburg Memorial Company! Phillipsburg Memorial Company has been the premier memorial company for Phillipsburg, NJ and the surrounding area since 1939. We are family owned and operated, and have been providing customers with exceptional service that continues to resonate. Phillipsburg Memorial Company offers a variety of services that include granite memorials, bronze plaques, and cemetery lettering and cleaning. Our reputation for professional service, dependability, and craftsmanship are hallmarks of our service we provide to each of our customers. Phillipsburg Memorial Company is a proud member of The National Federation of Independent Business. Call, email, or come by our office for your free consultation!

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