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Glossary of Printing Terminology

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Offset Blanket
A covering for a cylinder on a printing machine for accepting the ink image and then transferring it to the surface to be printed.

Offset Letterpress
See dry offset.

Offside Lay
The edge of a printing machine opposite to side lay.

OMR (Optical Mark Recognition)
The process via which the typed or written position of ‘mark’ (ie. Simple tick or shaded out area) on piece of plate paper denotes an instruction to an electronic forms’ processing device.

On Press Proof
Sample print in a small run length to show the final printed result. Often used with the digital process.

Opacity
The extent to which a paper is capable of obscuring matter printed on the other side or on an underlying page or other surface lying underneath. For example, a sheet with good opacity is one on which the printing on one side cannot be seen from the other under normal conditions. It is expressed as a percentage (%).

OpenType
A cross-platform font file format developed jointly by Adobe and Microsoft. Although based on TrueType technology, OpenType can contain PostScript font data and supports an expanded character set and advanced typographic features.

OPI (Open Prepress Interface)
A computer-based system that lets you work with convenient, low-resolution positional images in your layout during document creation, and then these are automatically substituted with high-resolution versions at the point of output.

Out Work
Operations put to another company or individual for reasons of specialism or capacity.

Overprint
Where translucent inks print over the top of others, so producing intermediate colour mixes. For example, to produce green with process inks, the yellow must overprint cyan.

Over Run
Sheets or copies produced in excess of the required number.