I think your explanation is correct. You will also find that the same page printed twice will have some amount of drift. The trick is to design your page so that the difference isn't as noticeable. Can you post a screen shot of your post card so we can make suggestions?
You created your document in Illustrator yet you post in the InDesign forum...
If you have InDesign create the invitation in that, export it as a PDF using the Acrobat presets and selecting High Quality Print.
You'll have to ensure your document design doesn't bleed and has sufficient margin so as to allow for "printer grip".
Yes I created the document in illustrator and the reason I posted in the indesign forum is because I asked for a template or workaround with indesign .
By eliminating the bleed should the centre line still be correct as a guide for cutting?
thanks for the reply, I don't think I want to post screenshots online as they are kind of personal documents.
I like your suggestion as to trying to disguise it , but i think I want to try a more scientific or mathematical approach first as this has bothered me in the past.
also, if you use an inkjet printer, you should consider that it takes a bigger margin at the bottom of the page (printed last) than at the top and often creates that off-center effect.
You might have to adjust your design to leave a 15mm margin at the 'top and bottom' of the page to balance for this.
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Your document's print area has to be within the maximum print area your printer can print, otherwise it will position the design off centre. Alternatively trim your document to a size that's less than A5 if, for example, you want to include bleed.
Also have a look at having it printed by a commercial digital printer, it's dirt cheap nowadays!
Here's something to think about. Have you ever tried to print on pre-cut or pre-perforated sheets, like mailing stickers? When I did it, I set up my template by measuring the sheet—how far down and over each sticker was. When I printed, it was off by a bit, so, if the image was a bit too low, I'd select all and nudge it up a bit and try the print again. After a few tries, I got it to where it was on target. You might want to see if you can do the same.
you can work-around this by printing on a bigger sheet of paper (like A3) and cut it yourself.
not exactly environmentally-friendly but this will give you a nice print with the middle centered and no white borders.
A steady hand would come in .... euh .... handy
- There is always a shift of paper with any laser or ink printer.
- Professional offset or digital wpinter serve better accuracy.
- Workaround: Design slightly smaller, so you can cut every edge.
- Don't use registration marks or any line, as these items will always be visible because of unaccuracy. It is enough to know where to cut and set the rule of the cutter to the exact position.
- In Acrobat you have to take care that you don't fit to page in the print dialog.
Consider to print in a professional printer, or online printer, often cheaper than the laser printer on the long term.