Sublimation printing is a trending business in today’s world. More and more graphic designers, entrepreneurs, and artists are using this practice to bring their beautiful artworks to life and earn a living. It is a popular technique for printing designs onto apparel, signs, mugs, and other products –either for your personal projects or for running your own small business.
Whether you are working as a part-time graphic designer or selling products on an eCommerce store, sublimation printing will come in handy for you.
However, before you can get started with sublimation printing, you need to find the best sublimation software to create professional-looking designs, images, or lettering.
Sublimation software is used to print designs or graphics onto a variety of materials using a process called sublimation printing.
Sublimation printing involves printing an image onto special transfer paper using ink that is designed to turn into a gas when heated.
The transfer paper is then placed onto a substrate (such as a T-shirt, mug, or mousepad), and the ink is transferred onto the substrate by pressing it with a heat press.
Adobe Illustrator and CorelDraw are two of the best sublimation software options available today.
Also, there are several free software products for you to choose from, such as Canva, GIMP, Vectornator and Inkscape.
You can use them to download, edit, mirror, and print designs.
In this article, I have listed the top ten sublimation software options available today. I will also help you understand what these design tools can do for you.
Top 10 Best Sublimation Software
In this article, we have compiled a list of the top 10 best sublimation software options currently available.
From vector graphics editing to raster image editing and a range of templates, these tools offer a range of features and capabilities to help you create stunning designs for sublimation printing.
Whether you are a professional designer or just starting out in the world of sublimation, these can help you take your designs to the next level. So, without further ado, let’s dive in and explore the top 10 best sublimation software options available.
Ever since it was launched in 1990, Adobe Photoshop has been the undisputable industry standard. It delivers excellent capabilities at a reasonable price point that any company can afford. It is the most recommendable sublimation printing software for anyone looking to create awesome designs – from beginners to sublimation experts who will be printing PNG files or other raster-based image files.
Photoshop is the tool of choice for most sublimation printing companies across the world. You can also use the “Share for Commenting” feature to share your work with your peers for a collaborative design process. If you are looking for image manipulation software to create sublimated products on caps, t-shirts, or mugs, then Photoshop is an ideal option for you.
Adobe Illustrator is another strong contender for sublimation printing. It is a vector-based tool, unlike the raster-based Photoshop. It offers an amazing design space for creating typography, drawings, logos, and a wide range of vector images for your sublimation printing designs. You will require vector files while working with Cricut or Silhouette sublimation printers, and there’s simply no better option for creating vectors for your sublimation prints than Adobe Illustrator.
Illustrator allows you to create your images on the go. You can trace images with your phone camera and then use the Vectorize tool to draw your sketch for you. Also, there is plenty of carryover between Photoshop and Illustrator. Most of the hotkeys remain the same, the icons are very similar, and the general feel and flow is quite consistent between them.
In addition to being a useful drag-and-drop application for creating social media posts, Canva offers a pretty powerful setup for creating sublimation prints as well. It even offers a handy help page that provides instructions on how to print t-shirts using the program.
Canva is a web-based and extremely intuitive application. When you start working, you can either modify a free design/template or start creating your own within a few minutes.
CorelDRAW is one of the most recognizable names when it comes to vector-based designers, right behind Adobe Illustrator. It is a beginner-friendly and reliable graphic design program for small businesses with a limited budget, especially for those with little or no designing experience. Unlike Illustrator, CorelDRAW is much easier to learn, quick to master, and user-friendly. There are many online tutorials available to get you started and guide you through the basics.
CorelDRAW offers a handy online web app for sublimation printing that you can access from anywhere, as long as you have a working device and an internet connection. After purchasing the CorelDRAW Graphics Suite, you will also get free access to their version of Photoshop known as Corel Photo-Paint.
GIMP is essentially a free, open-source version of Photoshop. It comes with a wide range of capabilities, many of which are quite similar to those in Photoshop. Since it is open source software, anyone can change its code and distribute those changes to other users. As a result, there is a huge community of people out there developing additional features that you can use for free.
Although GIMP isn’t as robust as Photoshop, it has a lot of the tools that the latter possesses. If you get the hang of one of them, you will easily be able to work with the other. Its user-friendly interface is easy to learn and understand, and it has several tutorials available all over the internet. It is a good choice for users who are on a budget or just getting started with their sublimation designs.
Procreate is loaded with features, easy to use, and affordable. It is expandable to your taste and has a customizable interface. However, it only works on iPads.
It is a good choice for Appleheads who wish to create their own digital art on their iPads. It is available to purchase at the App Store for a one-time price of $9.99. After you buy the app, you will get all future updates for free.
One of the coolest features of Procreate is its customizable brush library. You can edit the included brushes in the app, import third-party templates, or create your own templates. Also, its user community is very supportive and can help you find new ways to streamline your design flow.
Affinity Photo is a great Photoshop alternative with powerful tools to help you create your sublimation designs. It is smooth, fast, and provides an exceptional user experience. You can purchase Affinity Photo for a one-time purchase that includes a vector-based designer tool known as Affinity Designer.
Affinity Photo is much faster in some situations that PhotoShop and can perform better than Photoshop in there. However, it does fall short on features and functionality for performing a wide range of advanced editing tasks.
Inkscape is more or less the free and open-source version of Adobe Illustrator. It is a vector-based design tool that you can power up with a plethora of add-ons, including raster images. It has a large worldwide community of developers regularly creating new functionalities for it free of cost.
The program is light, quick, and compatible with most common file formats. Also, you can open AI, CDR, EPS, SVG, and PDF files in Inkscape. As a result, you will be able to work with and save files that can also be opened in Illustrator or CorelDRAW. Unlike Illustrator, Inkscape doesn’t have high hardware requirements and can run smoothly, even on old computers.
Vectornator is a graphic design software that is specifically designed for creating vector graphics.
Vectornator is available for both iOS and macOS, and it offers a range of features and tools for creating and editing vector graphics.
Some of these features include a range of shapes and lines, curves, text tools, layers, and color adjustment tools. Vectornator also includes a range of templates and a library of design elements that you can use to get started with your projects.
Overall, Vectornator is a powerful and easy-to-use software for creating and editing vector graphics, and it is suitable for both professional designers and beginners.
Vectr is another online and free vector image editing tool for sublimation printing. It is powerful and intuitive enough to allow even a novice to have an easy time learning how to create digital artwork. It can efficiently scale designs without compromising quality or creating blurs. Its tools are simple and easy to master within minutes, making it a great option for beginners.
By virtue of its intuitive and straightforward user interface and remarkable speed, Vectr is an ideal choice for making minor and quick changes to your images. It also offers excellent cross-platform compatibility. However, it does not have the flexibility and extensive toolset that Adobe Illustrator has to offer.
High quality sublimation software can greatly improve the quality of your work and help meet your goals – from editing photos to illustrating your artwork and scaling vector-based graphics. I hope this article helps you choose a good sublimation program and reach new heights of success in your field.