Best Sublimation Design Software For Beginners And Experts

You are all geared up to start with sublimation printing or are putting the pieces together to create your first unique design – whichever it is I am happy to assist. 

Here you will get a complete perspective of the best sublimation design software programs for beginners! Why do you need one? Will let you know that in a while – but remember you need the best software for sublimation printing in order to produce outstanding prints. 

From creating new images to editing them, and finally getting them printed with the correct dimensions – all require reliable sublimation design software. 

Why Do You Need The Best Sublimation Software?

Here is the answer to your question as to why you need a good or rather the best computer program for sublimation printing. You will find dozens of software across the internet that offer to edit images and are free as well, but they will not fulfill your sublimation needs. 

You need software that should have the ability to 

  • Create high-resolution designs
  • Make the images precise according to your sublimation printing requirements.
  • Must have photo editing tools because sublimating photos on various sublimation blanks is the need of the hour. 
  • Be compatible with your computer system and your printer. 

There are a number of different sublimation software programs available on the market today. And among all, some of the names stand apart from the crowd and are known as the leading software of the graphic designing world, these include Adobe Photoshop, Corel Draw, GIMP, Inkscape, and a recent one getting so much hype is Canva. Each program has its own unique set of features and benefits that can make sublimation printing a more efficient process than traditional printing methods. 

Let’s take you on a tour of what’s in and trending in the sublimation software world and which of these can you start working with right away. 

7 Best Sublimation Software Programs

1. Adobe Photoshop (Most Recommended)

Adobe Photoshop (Most Recommended)

Photoshop is the industry-leading design software for anyone using photos or highly-detailed images for sublimation printing – and there’s a good reason why. Not only is it a powerful photo and graphic editor, but using Photoshop for sublimation you can also easily create digital paintings or customize designs you download from other sources. And if that’s not satisfying enough, you can use the various plugins that are available and install as many add-ons as you like to work with new and different features. You get a plethora of options with these extra tools to enhance your images.  Moreover, it is compatible with most sublimation printers.

Most Favorite Feature
  • A very versatile designing tool for beginners as well as professionals.
  • Easy to learn – Numerous tutorials available online
  • The tools are extended over the whole Adobe Suite – Whether you are using Illustrator or Photoshop, you learn one, you can use all. (Illustrator is also a designing software used for sublimation)
Least Favorite Feature
  • It is not free! Yes, there is a monthly or annual subscription price. Whichever package you choose, you will need to pay to run the complete version.

2. Inkscape (Best One For Beginners)


Inkscape is one of the leading software in the sublimation world because of its excellent image editing tools and photo enhancing options and above all, it is free to use. One of the best sublimation design programs to work with vector graphics with multiple add-ons and advanced plugins to take everything a step further.  

Even the built-in graphic design features are simply outstanding and a pleasure to work with. If you’re looking for free sublimation software for Epson printers, or for any other sublimation printer like HP, Canon, or Sawgrass, look no further, Inkscape for sublimation is your go-to software when starting with the practice and is mostly compatible with all the leading printer brands.

Most Favorite Feature
  • A free program to download,  use, and share
  • Tablet compatibility is free hence you can use the pen tool conveniently. 
  • A very good alternative to Adobe Photoshop in terms of features, plug ins and results. One of the best free sublimation design software.
Least Favorite Feature
  • It is not easy to learn. Even if you are aware of the basic graphic tools you will need to go through tutorials and trial-and-error methods to understand the working of this software.

3. Corel Draw ( Best For Vector images)


CorelDraw is a versatile graphics editor that’s perfect for all sorts of graphics projects, from illustrations to logos, photos, and more. Installing the latest version is always recommended to get the most out of the software. This powerful program for sublimation printing comes with a huge library of gradients, photos, and templates that make it easy to get started on your project. As for printer compatibility, it works best with Epson, Canon,  Sawgrass, and most of the major sublimation printers. However, with HP it is limited to only a few types.

Most Favorite Feature
  • Enhanced flexibility and ease of operation
  • Customizable User Interface
  • Best Sublimation software for vector graphics
Least Favorite Feature
  • It is a paid tool but provides a 15-day free trial.
  • Is not compatible with raster graphics

4. GIMP (Best Free Sublimation Design Software)


For those of you who are looking for an accessible and free design program, GIMP is a great option! Although it may not look as sleek as Photoshop, GIMP can do most of the things that Photoshop can. You may have to put in a little extra work to access some of the design tools, but if you’re wanting to dip your toes into the world of sublimation print design, it’s a great place to start. GIMP for sublimation is a good choice for editing photos or image downloads and fortunately, it works with all types and brands of sublimation printers. 

Most Favorite Feature
  • Free and one of the finest graphic tools for beginners. 
  • Supported on all devices
  • An easy-to-use sublimation design software
Least Favorite Feature
  • Not a reliable software for vector graphics 

5. Sketch ( For Apple users)

sketch ios

Sketch is a widely used graphic design software for those who wish to create beautiful designs for websites, apps, and even sublimation printing! It’s loved by many for its range of features and you can even find hundreds of plugins to add extra elements. If you’re team-oriented, Sketch also has powerful tools to help groups communicate and design together – making it the perfect software for collaborative projects. It’s important to note that Sketch works best with Apple products so any printer that is adaptable to Apple devices can be used to print Sketch graphics. 

Most Favorite Feature
  • A software specially created for Apple Users  
  • Has enhanced features and produces extraordinary graphics
  • Compatible with all Apple devices
Least Favorite Feature
  • Has a monthly subscription of $9 after the trial version expires

6. Sawgrass Creative Studio ( Best For Sawgrass Printers)


A sublimation printer having its own sublimation designing software is a blessing in disguise for anyone stepping into the world of sublimation. As a beginner, you need to focus on many things let alone the designs, the alignment, and various nuts and bolts. Sawgrass, in this aspect, is a step ahead. 

The Sawgrass Creative Studio software is an online design program specifically made for sublimation prints, giving users a huge advantage when it comes to creating the perfect design. Most other graphic design programs have an extensive scope, so users have to figure out how to make a sublimation design on their own. 

Most Favorite Feature
  • Customized for sublimation  
  • Compatible with many Operating Systems
  • Comes with a large library of ready-to-use designs, which is awesome for users who want to save time or need inspiration.
Least Favorite Feature
  • It is only available with purchasing of Sawgrass printers. 

7. Canva ( Most Versatile)


Canva is the most accessible and trending sublimation design app today. I would recommend it as the best sublimation graphic tool for beginners because the software is designed to help you out at every step and even if you are a newbie in the field of graphics, its templates will help you achieve much more than what you desire. 

From accessing specific images to creating your own, Canva is easy to use, easy to navigate, and easy to learn and even the free version has many advanced features which will help you create marvelous graphics for your sublimation projects. 

And the most favorable part is that it is printer-friendly – you can print the Canva graphics through any sublimation printer because the software is online. 

Most Favorite Feature
  • Best free sublimation program for beginners with built-in templates, graphics, sizes, and designs.
  • Can upload your own graphics and edit them according to your needs. 
  • User-friendly for beginners in the graphics domain.
Least Favorite Feature
  • To use enhanced features and more intense designs you need to pay for the Pro version. 
  • The features are not as advanced as tools like Adobe Photoshop. You can edit the graphics and the templates up to a certain extent.
  • Only available online

How To Choose The Best Sublimation Software For Beginners

When choosing the best computer program for sublimation printing you will need to ask yourself two things

  1. Will buying paid software be worth it?
  2. Are you good at creating from scratch or you will need templates?

The answers to these questions are your key to deciding which software will work best for you. There are softwares like Canva that provide hundreds of templates and you just need to do a few touch-ups and you are good to go. This saves time, increases production, and requires very less creativity. They are available as free and paid. However, the free version limits access to designs. 

Alternately if you are into complete customization and want to make your own designs then software like Adobe Photoshop and Inkspace will help you create dynamic images. Even for photo editing, Photoshop is the best-paid tool but you can always use GIMP for free for the same purpose. If you are starting with Sublimation, investing in a paid tool might not be the best option, but keep in mind that the color details and precision achieved with paid tools is far far better than with a free one.

Designing SoftwareOS CompatibilityOS Non-CompatiblePaid / Free
Adobe Photoshop Big Sur
Apple Silicon
Macbook Air
Windows 7 and 10.
Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther) and later
Corel DrawWindows 10
Windows 8.1
Windows 7
Windows 11
macOS (Corel Draw Graphics Suite only)
GIMPWindows 10
Windows 8 
Windows 7
iPad OS
Sawgrass Creative StudioWindows 8.1 
Windows 10
Windows 11
MacOS 10.13
(High Sierra)
MacOS 10.14 (Mojave)
MacOS 10.15 (Catalina)
MacOS 11.x (Big Sur)
MacOS 12.x (Monterey)
CanvaAn online software – compatible with any OSFree & Paid


Your search for the best designing software especially if you are a beginner should be satisfied once you have reached this point. All your queries regarding what should you look for in software, when starting to sublimate, are most exquisitely answered. 

At the end of the day, I would only suggest that you choose something that you feel will satisfy all your sublimation requirements. From considering your computer system, your printer, your sublimation blanks, and your knowledge of using designing software – make sure you are enjoying yourself while being creative and all your sublimation results should put a smile on your face.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *