Design Specialist Certificate Program

The primary goal of this basic level design course is to give memorial retailers and their associates correct ideas of proportion and composition in memorial art. As a result, the industry will be upgraded; better personal sales and a greater interest by the public should increase the demand for monuments. As the course progresses, the student should acquire a feeling of what is pleasing to the eye. The participant will not be expected to become an accomplished artist, but they should be able to assimilate ideas and put them together in a sense of harmony.

The course will last 6 months and consists of eight sections with multiple assignments. The assignments will have various problems and exercises that will be directly applicable to our industry. The problems are to be answered by the student and the answers sent to the proctor via the postal service or digitally via email or FTP (file transfer protocol). Assignments sent digitally should be scanned as either a JPEG or PDF at a minimum of 300 dpi (dots per inch).

The answers will be reviewed, graded, corrections made and returned to the student. If the work is unsatisfactory, the student will be asked to repeat the work. The student will receive reference materials digitally upon applying for the course and will receive each section and assignment digitally from their proctor as they are completed. To pass, participants must receive a minimum of a 70% in each section of the course through their proctor.

Upon successfully completing the course, the student will receive a suitable certificate signifying fulfillment of the Basic Memorial Design Course Requirements.

The cost for each level (Basic, Intermediate and Advanced) of the Memorial Design Course is $300 per enrollee for MBNA members or employees of member firms. The fee is $600 for non-members of MBNA. All fees are payable in advance and should accompany the application which is sent to MBNA Headquarters. This course will fulfill your needs for a basic knowledge of design, composition and proportion and help you serve your customers more efficiently.

MBNA members must log-in and access the member portal to receive the member pricing.

Necessary Tools of the Trade

In order to complete the MBNA Memorial Art Correspondence Course, certain drafting and drawing tools should be available. Most monument shops will have this simple equipment. This material should be a part of every concerned monument dealership. You will find the tools readily available in any art, drafting, or blueprint supply store.

  1. Drawing pencils . . . several H.B. soft lead and 3H hard lead
  2. 3 or 4 different size and different angle triangles (30, 60, 90 and 45/45. 6 inches is plenty)
  3. T-square (18 in is enough)
  4. Tracing paper or any art papers…select the type you prefer. Recommend No. 1000 H clearprint in pads or sheets. (Vellum11x17 50 sheet pad is fine)
  5. A simple grade school compass (have a thumb screw in it)
  6. A soft eraser and pencil sharpener (brown color is the best).
  7. Two or three french curves and a plastic set of circles; also a half circle (patterns/templates) (3 is enough)
  8. An architect scale rule (be sure it is not an engineer’s scale).
  9. CAD Software

There are kinds of new sophisticated drawing and drafting equipment available today, but the above items will permit you to work through the MBNA Design Correspondence Course. As you progress and become deeper involved, you may want to acquire more elaborate tools. We urge you to spend some time browsing through your local art material supply house.