I had the honour to work on this large (32" x 40"), multi-generation, army memorabilia shadow box recently. My customer and his father both served in The Royal Canadian Regiment (RCR) and he wanted to display memorabilia from their time served.
At the initial design consultation, he described to me what he had in mind for the design... the VRI flag and the battalion decals at the top of the shadow box; his father's memorabilia grouped together on the left side; his own memorabilia grouped together on the right side; memorabilia that related to both of their careers would be displayed in the middle; and finally, a separate area for other army memorabilia that my customer had collected over the years and wanted to preserve.
Here is a photo of the 60+ items that he brought in to that initial design consultation and the rough layout:
He brought in a few more items over the next couple weeks to incorporate into the design as well.
With his initial design in mind, I organized the items into the groupings that he had wanted and designed the layout so that each grouping would be displayed in its own opening cut into the top mat. In order to utilize the space better, the RCR patches (two per person) were moved out of the middle section and placed in the top opening with the VRI flag. These patches were positioned so that they were centered above the openings for the father's and customer's own memorabilia. Although there was different memorabilia for both gentlemen, I tried to arrange the items in those two openings so that they would look as similar as possible, e.g. display the photos at the top, the cap badges along the bottom, etc.
An engraved brass nameplate, "In Recognition of the Unknown Soldier", was displayed in the section that showcased the extra army memorabilia. My customer wanted to make sure people knew that these were extra items that he wanted to preserve and that these items weren't part of his own or father's army careers. One of these items was the YSER Medal, a WWI Belgian campaign medal for distinguished service during the 1914 Battle of the Yser River.
Two satin black Roma mouldings were stacked together to form the shadow box frame. A khaki coloured suede mat was chosen for its 'army' colour and Tru Vue's conservation clear glass, with its 99% UV protection, was chosen to help protect the items displayed in the shadow box.
The photographs were scanned and had photo restoration done on them to adjust their size, restore colours, and improve the quality. My customer didn't have the original photographs for two of his father's photos, so I had to work with photocopies that weren't the best of quality.