Last Updated on November 4, 2023 by Fredrick Miller
When starting out in the sublimation printing business, finding out the best sublimation printer is not the only thing you have to do. Choosing the best sublimation software for design is also an important task in creating sublimation designs.
Don’t know how to find the best software for sublimation printing? Don’t worry. I have got you back. In this article, I have explained everything in the simplest way to help you choose the one according to your work requirements.
But before doing any deeper, the very first thing is that you must have a clear understanding of what is sublimation design software. Also, at the end of this article, you will find an extremely helpful buyer’s guide designed especially for you.
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What is a Sublimation Software?
Sublimation Design Software, as the name suggests, is used for creating or editing your desired sublimated designs for whatever material you will be using it on. Once you’re done creating and editing your design on the software, then you’ll use a sublimation printer to transfer your sublimated design onto the paper.
Good sublimation software comes with the integrated potential to make your design super accurate and precise. The performance of sublimation software directly impacts the designs, so it is important to know which sublimation printing software will work for your designs.
6 Best Sublimation Software for Design in 2023
|Adobe Photoshop||Latest Version: Photoshop 2024 (desktop) is 25.0.||Check Price|
|GIMP||Latest Stable Version: 2.10.34||Check Price|
|CorelDraw Graphics Suite||Latest Version: 24.3||Check Price|
|Affinity||Latest Version: 2.2||Check Price|
|Sawgrass||Latest Version: Sawgras Creative Studio||Check Price|
|Sketch||Latest Version: Release in September 2023||Check Price|
1. Adobe Photoshop
Adobe Photoshop is one of the best software for sublimation printing as it provides more detailed images of your sublimated designs. With this software, you can easily create your desired digital prints and also can customize the designs downloaded from other sites.
You will also find many unique add-ons and plug-ins to make your designs more attractive and stunning. This software is programmed for both Windows and macOS devices for editing and designing images.
If you’re wondering whether you can use it for 3D extrusion or photo editing, then surely it can do these things exceptionally well. Also, people with a language barrier don’t have to worry anymore as in this they can find 26 Plus languages making it much more convenient to use.
I would recommend Adobe Photoshop to all the professionals looking for the best design software for sublimation as it has all the must-have things that one might need during photo designing.
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GIMP is completely free of cost designing software, unlike Adobe Photoshop, which will save you from paying for any kind of subscription. The software comes within a 40-MB size and is an open-source tool for editing designs.
It is user-friendly software making it easier to use even if you’re using it for the first time for sublimation printing. If you are looking for something to just manipulate or edit already existing designs, then this is the go-to software for you.
This software is also called a raster graphics editor and is programmed in the C language. One great thing that I have found in this software is that you can run it even on 250MB storage devices.
You would find many useful features while editing your sublimated design using this software, such as options like distorts, shadow, blur enhancement, light, and many others. Coming to compatibility so this GIMP sublimation software is highly compatible with Windows 7,8, and 10.
If you want to use it for customization, then it will also enable you to add plug-ins from a third party for your convenience.
I would recommend this sublimation software to those who are looking for the easiest design software for sublimation because of its user-friendly interface and free-of-cost usage.
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3. CorelDraw Graphics Suite
CorelDraw is a graphics editor that is used for all types of graphic designing and editing. This software is getting upgraded with time, so always ensure you have the latest version to enjoy all new features.
The reason why it is considered one of the best photo editing software for sublimation is its huge variety of options, including photos, templates, and gradients.
It is mainly used for logo designing along with icons and photographs editing. You will get many choices in coral graphics suites, such as Corel photo paint, bitmap image editors, and much more, so you can easily find the one according to your requirements.
If you want to buy its subscription just for one time to try it out, then its flexible interface will let you buy a one-month subscription plan. It also provides you with a free trial of fifteen days on a one-time purchase.
I recommend this best program for sublimation printing to people who love to do vector base artwork making it an ideal choice for professional sublimation designers.
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Affinity is also one of the best computer programs for sublimation printing that enables you to do sublimation graphic designing. This software is basically designed for professionals to be used in their offices as it can only be bought in a whole package.
As compared to many other photo editing software of its similar range and specs, Affinity has much more in it, and the very thing that makes it stand out from them is its lesser cost. If you want to buy this one for just one time, then you can do it easily without having to purchase its full subscription.
Just like CorelDraw, this sublimation software also works by focusing on vector designing tools along with the raster designing tools that you might need for photo editing. But you need to make sure that you’re buying this option with your bundle deal.
This is a whole package of sublimation software with all the must-have features, so I would recommend this to all the professionals out there who are in need of the best design program for sublimation.
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As we all know, Sawgrass has launched a massive series of the best sublimation printers, and to make them provide much more amazing results, they have also introduced Sawgrass Creative Studio. It is an online sublimation design software that helps you create your favorite sublimated designs and images.
One of the most appealing things about the sublimation software is that its features are designed especially for the sublimation printer, so it will be great for your desired sublimation prints.
As when you’re editing software other than the sublimation software, you have to cut it according to your sublimation prints. But with this sublimation software, you don’t have to go through this hassle.
In this software, you will find a large variety of ready-made designs, so you can also check out these if you’re short on ideas to do sublimation printing. Plus, I would recommend you use this sublimation software with Sawgrass sublimation printers.
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The sketch is, last but not least, the best program to use for sublimation printing that I could find so far. This software is popular among graphic designers who love to explore the newest graphic designing websites and applications.
This sublimation program includes every necessary feature you might be needed during designing and also provides multiple plug-ins and add-ons.
It is designed especially for Apple devices, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t use it on Windows.
If you’re looking for something to use in the groups in order to communicate and create a design, then you would find this tool greatly helpful for you.
For those who want to try it out before buying the subscription, you can do it with this. But if you want to keep using it for a longer time, then you have to buy the complete package.
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Buying Guide for Best Sublimation Design Software:
If you think that, how would you know what is the best software for sublimation? Then there are some most important factors to remember when buying yourself sublimation software.
Ease of Setting-Up and Installation:
The very first thing you need to look for in the sublimation app is its setting up procedure. You need to make sure the software you’re buying must have an easy set-up along with the easiest installation process.
There is some amazing software available out there with the easiest installation process for which you wouldn’t even have to watch installation tutorials to learn their installation procedures.
Easy to Understand UI:
If you’re a beginner or even a professional, the UI is one of the most important things with the ability to make your work difficult or easier. So always buy software with an easy-to-understand and use interface, especially when you’re a beginner, so you can design photos, logos, and icons conveniently.
This will not only save you from putting in extra effort and energy but will also save you a lot of time as you wouldn’t have to waste your time learning and understanding its basic operations.
Checking the computability of design software for sublimation is also a crucial thing to remember, as not all the software is compatible with all devices.
It might be possible that the software you’re buying is not compatible with your operating system. So choose the one according to the device you are going to run it on, such as Windows, macOS, or Linux.
Plug-In support is important because if your software doesn’t have the capacity to support plug-ins, then you can’t do the proper sublimation design on it. So don’t buy it unless you’re sure that the software you’re buying is capable of an able third-party plug-in, as this is the only way to increase your work potential.
Free OR Paid Software:
There is multiple sublimation software available out there. Some of them are free of cost, while some of them are paid software. It’s a fact that no matter whether you’re a professional or a beginner, you will always get attracted to free software.
And there is nothing wrong with it as personally I would also recommend you to go with free software but only if you’re buying it just for personal use. But if you are buying software for your business or office, then I would recommend you buy monthly or yearly subscription plans according to your requirements.
Quick tips: How to Print Sublimation Transfers
Once you’re done editing your design now, it is time to transfer your sublimated design onto the paper by the following method.
- First, you need to set up your sublimation printer with the sublimation dyes.
- Next, you have to insert your transfer sheet having mostly one shiny and one dull side. If you don’t know how to insert the transfer sheet into your printer, you have to read the instruction manual for this.
- Now check if there is a need for mirroring the image, ensuring the designs are in their exact location.
- Lastly, it is time to send your file to your printer.
Can You Use Cricut Design Space for Sublimation?
Yes, if you have access to Cricut, then you can definitely use a Cricut design space to create sublimation designs. Cricut design space is online software that is used for creating and editing sublimated designs.
What is the Best Sublimation Software for Beginners?
The best sublimation software for a beginner is open-source GIMP application software that provides you free access and is a great tool for anyone starting to learn sublimation printing just for fun.
How do Free Sublimation Images and Templates help you?
Free sublimation images and templates can be downloaded from individuals or also from trial or free versions. This works best for you only if you’re just trying to learn how to create sublimation designs.
But if you’re thinking of creating something new and unique, then you have to do all things by yourself.
How to Create Sublimation Designs?
If you want to learn how to create sublimation designs, then all you need is the best sublimation software for beginners, as it will be much easier for you to use and provide you with some free templates to practice your work.
As every software has its own uniqueness and versatility so, choose the one whose versatility suits your beginner level the most.
This article is a one-stop solution for all those looking for the Best Sublimation Software for Design. In this, I have briefly discussed the 6 best programs to use for sublimation printing, and among all of them, CorelDraw Graphics Suite is the one that I like the most.
It is one complete package for both beginners starting out sublimation printing for the first time and also for professionals who are experts in this line.
Fredrik Miller is the Founder of PrinterLake.com, a platform dedicated to providing information on sublimation printing. With a Master’s degree in Information Technology from Reputed University, Fredrik brings a wealth of technical knowledge and expertise to the site.
He leads a team of writers who are experts in the field and strive to deliver the best and most comprehensive information on sublimation printers, inks, and paper.