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Gift Engraving Styles & Formats for Best Results

Entering Text for Engraving

What is the correct way to enter initials?


Standard Text Lines - Standard text can simply be entered with no special considerations. Your engraving will be centered and all letters on a single line will use the same font size. Letters will appear as you enter them - money clip shown on left was entered as 2 lines of engraving with line 1 typed as: Happy Anniversary! and line 2 typed as: All my love, Taylor. Text entered in all lower case or all upper case letters, will be engraved exactly as entered with all upper or lower case lettering.

Tips for Text on Engraved Monogrammed Gifts

Monogramming - Monogrammed items using three letters, in contrast, use a special format with a larger center letter that represents the LAST name, so be sure to enter them in this special way - first, last, middle. Items will be engraved in the order listed. See the examples for the example name of Adam Brody Clark:


3 Letter Monogram Layout - Your last name takes center stage in a three-letter monogram layout, so enter the last name initial in the MIDDLE. The center letter (which represents the LAST NAME) will be engraved much larger than the letters on either side of it, so if your name is Adam Brody Clark, you would enter ACB. (Do not enter three-letter monogram initials as ABC otherwise your middle initial will be engraved large which is non-standard.)

2 Letter Monogram

2 Letter Monogram Layout - When only two initials are entered, both will be engraved as two larger same-sized letters on your item.

Back Side too Small for Monogram

While short messages (up to 21 characters) may be engraved on the back of our gift money clips, monogram style engraving can't be done on the back, as the smaller letters will be too little too read (see image example).

Selecting the Right Engraving Font

From Classic to Casual - What style is best for your occasion?

Font letting styles portray different meanings. So what style is best for your gift occasion?

Roman Engraving Font - Most Popular
Roman Engraving Font - Most Popular

Roman Font - This traditional, professional-looking font is our most popular (and our default). Its classic styling is appropriate for business, work, retirement gifts, etc.

Engraved with three lines for a fuller look, this bold, noticeable font is an excellent choice for engraved gifts for men or women.

Helvetica Engraving Font - Easy to Read
Helvetica Engraving Font - Easy to Read

Helvetica Font - A sans serif font with simple lines and no florishes, Helvetica is popular with men and those with vision issues.

A "thick" triple-line font, it is easy to read, especially on textured surfaces or in small areas that benefit from clear, unfancy engraving.

Victoria Engraving Font - Fancy Yet Easy to Read
Victoria Engraving Font - Fancy Yet Easy to Read

Victoria Font - A fancy font that is still easy to read. This is our most popular font for women and for special celebrations.

Script Engraving Font - Formal
Script Engraving Font - Formal

Script Font - An elegant font that is popular for formal occasions such as weddings and anniversaries.

Note: All capitalized Script font is nearly impossible to read (for ex. see title "SCRIPT"), so longer text will be converted to first letter only. (See uppercase example below.)

Avant Engraving Font - Contemporary
Avant Engraving Font - Contemporary

Avant Font - This contemporary font looks great with clean designs.

It is fresh and light with a distinctively modern feel.

Dom Casual Engraving Font - Fun Styling
Dom Casual Engraving Font - Fun Styling

Dom Casual Font - A relaxed, friendly font that has a more playful look about it.

Dom Casual font is a good choice for informal occasions or for use with fun designs and humorous engraving messages.

Old English Engraving Font - Very Formal
Old English Engraving Font - Very Formal

Old English Font - Very formal, this font is appreciated for its ornamentation but can be somewhat difficult to read.

Old English font is popular on flasks.

Greek Engraving Font - Specialty
Greek Engraving Font - Specialty

Greek Letter Font - Specialty font popular for fraternity & sorority gifts - flasks, business card holders - or science-themed gifts.

Find Greek engraving: Greek Engraved Business Card Holders and Greek Letter Engraved Flasks.

Script engraving is hard to read if all uppercase.

All Capital Engraving - Ornate fonts, such as Script, are not designed to be engraved with all uppercase letters for words and phrases. The spacing between letters is awkward and the lettering doesn't allow for a smooth visual flow on anything longer than a monogram. In fact, it is nearly impossible to read.

For this reason Kyle Design's engraver will change the case on your engraving to uppercase and lowercase as deemed appropriate. (The wording shown here: SCRIPT ENGRAVING, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CONGRATULATIONS, MERRY CHRISTMAS.)

Points To Consider When Choosing Engraving

Boldness - Engraving means scoring the metal surface. Engraving repeated lines (double or triple line fonts) or hatch-fillling (thin, tightly spaced parallel lines) can add visual bulk. So triple-line fonts (Roman, Helvetica) or those with intricate flourishes (Script, Old English) will make the lettering appear bolder than simpler, more understated fonts (Avant). Please choose a font according to your tastes and how pronounced you would like the engraving to appear.

Styling - Some fonts are direct and businesslike (Helvetica, Roman), others playful, (Don Casual), while others are fancy yet harder to read because of their intricate letters (Script, Old English).

Can't Decide? - When customers opt for the engraver to choose their font, Roman is the default because of its classical styling and superior legibility.

Can I Preview My Engraving?

No, your item is custom engraved for gorgeous results impossible with automated previewing. Here's why:

More Choices

Custom engraving allows for more locations, longer text lines, and optional layout styles. For example, on a business card case you may select a location on the front, back, or inside the lid (or all three!) You also have control of the layout, the number of lines, and the font. This degree of customization is simply not possible with simplistic previews.

Superior Results

Engraving is an art form, and all refinement is lost if you must adhere to an awkward preview. Custom engraving, on the other hand, provides the personal touch - our engraver adjusts lettering on a piece by piece basis for maximum attractiveness. Your engraving message is artistically formatted to find the most pleasing height based on text length, letter spacing within words, and size variations amongst lines.

Better Value

Sites that offer commercial engraving previews generally charge by the letter. We simply charge by the line and are very generous in the number of characters allowed in each, so your engraving is an excellent value, especially when you have more you wish to say.

Note, too, that you will not pay extra for "premium" fonts such as those with triple lines or ornate lettering, which take longer to engrave. Please choose the font that best expresses the sentiment behind your gift occasion.

Types of Engraving Methods

For centuries, engraving was done by hand using sharp gravers to methodically mark the metal. Next, engraving machines came into use which have recently been updated with computer controls to assist the master engraver. The results are crisp, accurate engravings with consistent quality and superior legibility. The two modern methods engraving machines use to embellish items are diamond tip engraving and laser engraving.

Quality Diamond-Tip Engraving Services

Diamond-Tip Engraving

Kyle Design only offers diamond-tip engraving, a true engraving process where your message is carved into the surface of the metal. With a finished look similar to that found on family heirlooms, this method lends a refined elegance to your gift.

Laser Engraving

This process melts a rough plastic material onto the surface of the metal by burning it with the laser. The result is a stark, bold engraving that can be scratched off.

A Word About Monogramming

What is a monogram? How do you use monogramming for best effect? What layout is appropriate for each product? Find out where and when to add an engraved monogram on gifts.

Engraved Monogram Format

Classic Monogram - In this traditional 3-initial style, an oversized last name initial is in the middle, with a smaller first name initial on the left and middle name initial on the right.

Engraved First and Last Initial

Two-Initial Monogram - When only two letters are engraved, they are the same font size.

Same Size Initial Engraving

Three-Same-Size-Initial Monogram - Because of confusion surrounding the arrangement of letters on traditional monograms, a more contemporary approach is to engrave all letters the same size.

When To Use - Monogramming is a popular engraving style that works well on most of our products.

Monogrammed Flasks

Monogrammed Flasks

The monogram engraving is commonly placed under the design on a flask, or centered on the back. This is also a an especially popular best man and groomsman gift that will be personalized with each man's initial. Shop Flasks

Monogrammed Business Card Cases

Monogrammed Business Card Cases

Adding a monogram engraving to the front of a plain card case or the back of a decorative card case is a sophisticated way to add personalization for a man or a woman. Shop Business Card Holders

Engraved Pill Boxes with Monograms

Monogrammed Pill Boxes

Adding a monogram engraving to the front of a plain pill box or the back of a decorative pill box will create a unique case to carry your medication or vitamins. Shop Pill Boxes

How to Add Additional Engraving

Have more you wish to express? Add a second or third engraving location (per item). Choose the gift type to add that extra message on the back or inside your item:

Why Engrave Your Gift?

Memories fade - engraving does not. Your gift will be appreciated even more when you add the unique personalization that engraving provides.

  • Make your gift "one of a kind"
  • Identify item's owner to avoid confusion with another's similar item
  • Impart a more meaningful and sentimental quality to your gift
  • Show how much you care with all the thought that went into the selection of your gift
  • Create a keepsake that will be treasured
  • Remember a shared experience or occasion
  • Deliver advice, an inspirational quote, or words to live by
  • Mark dates of important events in one's life
  • Maintain a connection because giver will be thought of each time gift is used
  • Celebrate the birth of a new baby
  • Commemorate a milestone event
  • Honor an occasion or date on which gift was given
  • Pay tribute to someone who has passed
  • Provide a touching reminder of a pet who has passed
  • Great alternative trophy award for celebration of win
  • Acknowledge participation in a sporting event, contest, or competition
  • Discourage theft by adding a name or email
  • Ensure a safe return should an item be lost by including contact details

Engraving Tips & Ideas to Make Your Gift Extra Special

Metal Wallet with Engraved Quote

For a long engraving quote, choose a gift with a larger engraving area such a flask, business card case, jewelry box, cigarette case, or metal wallet.

Choose a design that captures the essence of the quote as a constant reminder of its message.

Place more private or personal messages on the back of the item or inside for greater discretion (per item).

On smaller items, it is OK to paraphrase a quote or song lyrics.

Add full text of the quote on the gift card so they know the reference.

Most Popular Styles for Flask Engraving

We know you want to give an awesome gift, and when you add an engraved message it becomes a lasting keepsake. So browse these cool flask engraving ideas to find the best engraved quotes for flasks, proper layouts, and the most popular messages.

Flask - 1 Line Engraved

Name or Monogram Under the Design - Most often, people choose to add a person's name under the design - it adds personalization and looks well balanced.

Shown here: Decorative 8oz Flask in 100's of Designs

Engraved Flask - 2 Lines Below Kyle's Design

Two Lines Under Design - Engraving two lines under the design is popular for weddings. People often put either the wedding name or the name of the couple getting married as the first line, and the date as the second line. Here's an example of each:

This style is also popular for sports teams - a person's name with their sport and year underneath:


DHS Swim Team 2014

If you're ordering flasks for your entire wedding party, it's common to add a longer message personalized for each groomsman or bridesmaid on the back.

Flask with 2 Lines Engraved

One Line Above and One Line Below Design - Here's another popular format when you have two short lines of engraving - perhaps a name and either a job title, sports team, graduation date, or college name. Some people prefer this look because it's balanced around the centered design.

Shown here: Unique 6oz Flask in 100's of Designs and the Customized 4oz Flask in 100's of Designs

Flask with Quote Engraved on Back

Multiple Lines on the Back - When you have a quote or longer gift message than will fit in two lines, you'll want to add your message to the back of your flask.

Stainless Steel Flasks Engraved in Front

Multiple Lines on the Front (plain flasks only) - If you prefer a flask without a design and color accent, you can engrave a large centered monogram on the front, the recipient's name, or a longer message of up to 8 lines (on an 8 oz flask) with 36 characters each.

Maximum Engraving Areas on Flasks

Stainless steel flasks come in a variety of sizes and styles. If you're looking to engrave your flask, you will need to choose a size that has enough room for your engraved message. All flasks have room for at least 1 engraved line above and below the decorative design on the front, but the number of lines on the back and character limitations vary between flask sizes:

8 Ounce Stainless Steel Engraving Flasks with 8 Lines

8 Oz Flask - Most popular size for engraving because it has the most room for long quotes or multiple lines of song lyrics. Engrave up to 8 lines on the back plus two lines on the front with up to 36 characters in each.

Engrave 6 lines on a 6 ounce flask

6 Oz Flask - Very popular size with room for up to 6 lines on the back with 36 characters in each line. Additional room for up to two lines on front, with either one or two lines below the design or one above/one below the design.

4 ounce engraved flasks with 6 lines

4 Oz Flask - This mid-size flask is a great size for jacket pocket or purse - not too big, not too small. A bit narrower than the 6 or 8 ounce flasks, you may engrave up to 24 characters on each of up to 6 lines, plus one line below the design or one each above and below the design on the front.

Engrave 5 lines on a 2 ounce flask

2 Oz Flask - These adorable little flasks can still be engraved on the front with 2 lines and on the back with up to 5 lines with 14 characteres each. Perfect for adding a name to the front and a short personalized message on the back.

Add name or monogram to keychain flask

1 Oz Flask - Don't be fooled by the small size of these keychain flasks - there's still room for 2 lines on the front and 4 lines on the back with 14 characters per line.

Engravable Round Flasks - Add 5 Lines Engraving

Large Round Flask - This flask can only be engraved on the back. Add up to 5 lines of 36 characters or keep it short and sweet with a name, nickname or monogram.

Round Flasks Engravable with Up to 3 Lines

Small Round Flask - These flasks look great with monogram style engraving - a larger, center last initial with the first and middle initials on either side. Or, you may engrave up to 3 lines with 24 characters in each.

Plain Stainless Steel Flasks for Engraved Messages

Plain Flasks - Need more engraving space? Consider a plain flask to gain additional lines of engraving on the front of most flasks.

Popular Engraving Messages for Flasks

Looking for engraving ideas? These sayings are popular on an engraved flask:

"Here's to nights we won't remember with friends we won't forget!"

"Everybody should believe in something; I believe I'll have another drink." 

"Cheers to another birthday!"

See the Kyle Design Engraving Quotes site for even more ideas for engravable quotations.

Shop unique flasks in 100's of designs and give an awesome gift!

Engraved Business Card Holders

Want to give an engraved business card case but not sure what engraving is appropriate? Here are some suggestions:

Business Card Cases Engraved on Front

Engraving on Front - This is the most common form of engraving on gold and silver holders. Your gift will be a hit when you engrave the recipient's name on the front of the card case below the design. If you're buying a plain card case, opt for an engraved monogram, where the last initial is larger and in the center position.

Business Card Cases Engraved on Back

Engraving on Back - For longer messages, or to add additional engraving beyond a person's name and job title on the front, you can engrave up to 4 lines with 40 characters each on the back.

Engraving Tag inside lid on Business Card Holder

Engraving in Lid - When you opt to engrave inside the lid, the engraved message will be on a rectangular engraving plate that we add to the inside of the holder. This is required for engraving black business card holders and is an option for gold and silver cases when you'd like your message to be more private.

Engraved On A Desktop Business Card Holder

Desktop Card Holders with Engraved Name Tag

Engraving to the Right of the Design - On wooden desktop card holders, add a person's first and last name on an engraving plate to the right of the decorative design. It's also very common to engrave the name of their company or job title underneath their name.

Desktop Card Holders Engraved with Name

Engraving Underneath Design - On metal business card holders, adding a centered full name or, on the back, a last name with a title or date.

Business Card Case Engraving Quote Ideas

As always, if you have a long quote that won't fit in the engraving area on your gift, you can include this message on the gift card. Another option is to summarize the quote with a few important words that will fit on the gift. Include the full quote on the gift card so the recipient will know the reference and be reminded every time they use the item.

Business card cases are often engraved with success quotes or inspirational sayings. Here are some of the most popular:

Popular Success Quotes

"Success doesn't come to you; you go to it."
-- Marva Collins

"Act as though it is impossible to fail."

"Let the beauty of what you love be what you do."
-- Jalal ad-Din Rumi

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."
-- Eleanor Roosevelt 

"There is nothing like a dream to create the future."
-- Victor Hugo

Find more inspiring quotations at Kyle Design Success Quotes for Engraving (opens in a new window).

Jewelry Box Engraving

Engraving Tags for Jewelry Boxes

Rather than engraving into the wood itself, we engrave gold or silver metal tags that can be added to the front or the inside lid of your personalized jewelry box.

Add a 2nd tag here: Additional Jewelry Box Engraving Tag

Common Typographical and Grammatical Errors

The Apostrophe

It's = It is. Ex.: It's a pleasure to work with you = It is a pleasure to work with you.

Its = possessive. Ex.: Its color matches my eyes. = The color of the item matches my eye color.

Plural Names - Ex.: Happy Holidays from The Mansfields. (No apostrophe needed on the name because it is referring to all of the members of the family.) If the name ends in s, x, ch, or sh, then add -es to the end. Ex.: Jones > Joneses.

Possessive Names - Ex.: The Mansfield's home is on a short street. (The home belongs to the Mansfield family.) For names that end in s, you can either add just an apostrophe or both the apostrophe and an s.


Baby > babies (more than one baby)

Baby's birth > the birth of the baby


There - Location, over there. (Tip: the word "here" is tucked inside it.) Ex. Look over there!

Their - Possessive. Ex. I like their dog.


It's easy to leave out a letter or short word when entering text, so if possible review the text from the end to the beginning. This stops the eye from filling in missing letters or fixing errors and allows you to focus better on the what is actually written.

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  Creating Unique Gifts In Exclusive Designs Since 1982