Effective Date: 
Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The following forms design standards must be used for all forms. Exceptions to the standards will be reviewed on an individual basis for automated processes.

Title Block

  1. All forms must be identified with a title block that contains:
    1. The title of the form to identify accurately the function or purpose of the form.
    2. The name of the agency that is the source or is responsible for the form.
    3. The state form number (SFN).
    4. The revision date of the form.
  2. The title block must be placed in the upper left corner of the form, whenever possible.
  3. The Great Seal of the State of North Dakota or agency logo must be part of the title block.
  4. If the Great Seal of the State of North Dakota is not used, the words "North Dakota" must be included in the name of the agency in the title block.
  5. Forms must not be printed or reproduced on letterhead.

Paper and Ink

  1. The standard size paper for state forms is 8 1/2 X 11 inches, and sizes that can be cut from that size with a minimum of waste.
  2. The standard color for state forms is white, unless volume of usage or other factors justify the use of colored paper.
  3. The standard color ink for state forms is black.  Only one color of ink will be used on a form.
  4. All state forms must be readily and clearly reproducible on copy machines and scanners.
  5. If the printing process for a form requires collating or padding, all parts of the form will be on the same size paper.
  6. Forms for senior citizens and persons with visual disabilities will be printed on matte finished paper with readable type style in black ink.


  1. Captions must be brief, clear, and concise.
    1. A caption must only cover one item or point.
    2. Captions must be worded to avoid confusion.
  2. Forms must be designed in a box format with upper left captions.
    1. Type size must be 8-point or larger, where appropriate.
    2. Type style must be sans serif, regular weight.
      1. Bold type may be used for headings, but not for captions.
      2. Italic type may be used for instructions, but not captions.
      3. Script or cursive type style must not be used on any form.
    3. Type must be in lower case with only appropriate capitalization.


  1. Standard vertical spacing (throw) on forms is:
    1. Entry fields should be 3/8" in height.
    2. Uniform layout over the entire form.
  2. Standard horizontal spacing (pitch) on forms is:
    1. Determined through forms analysis.
    2. Designed to fit data to be gathered by the form.
    3. Designed to fit the method or equipment used with the form.
    4. Uniform layout over the entire form.
  3. Routine space requirements are defined within Space Requirements for Forms.


  1. All State of North Dakota forms must have a professional appearance.
    1. No decorations or embellishments
    2. No more than two type styles on a form
    3. Shading or screening are not to be used for decorative purposes
  2. Forms must be simple and easy to read and complete.
    1. Clear black ink
    2. Clean, neat, basic good design
  3. No typographical or grammatical errors
  4. Adequate "white space" to enhance appearance
  5. Economical use of space on the page without excessive white spaces
  6. No names of any person will be used on a state form

Drafted By

ITD Records Management