From creating new high-quality designs and images to editing them, and finally getting them printed with the correct settings – all require the best sublimation design software.
I understand if image quality is not good enough, it can ruin all your efforts. So that’s why I will not only share the best program to use for sublimation printing but also I will explain why we need the best one and what’re the basic criteria that you can use to select any program yourself as well.
Are you excited? Let’s dive in!
7 Most Popular Sublimation Software Programs
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.
1. Adobe Photoshop (Most Recommended)
If you are into customization, this one should be on top of your list.
It 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 many options with these extra tools to enhance your images. Moreover, it is compatible with most sublimation printers.
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 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.
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.
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.
5. Sketch ( For Apple users)
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.
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.
7. Canva (Best For Beginners)
Canva is the most accessible and trending sublimation design app today. I would recommend it as the best choice 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.
How To Choose The Right Sublimation Software For Beginners?
When choosing the best computer program for sublimation printing you will need to ask yourself two things.
- Will buying paid software be worth it or free one is enough?
- 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.
|Paid / Free
Windows 7 and 10.
Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther) and later
macOS (Corel Draw Graphics Suite only)
|Sawgrass Creative Studio
MacOS 10.14 (Mojave)
MacOS 10.15 (Catalina)
MacOS 11.x (Big Sur)
MacOS 12.x (Monterey)
|An online software – compatible with any OS
|Free & Paid
At the end of the day, It all depends on your own skill level and mindset. Go with the one that satisfies all your sublimation requirements and you are comfortable using it as well. And most importantly, if you’re a beginner, practice a lot. Image quality plays a vital role. Test and trial different settings to get the best results out of the software you choose.