Sublimation allows us to reproduce detailed, full-color photographic images on a wide range of substrates or sublimated objects.
Before we print on them, we need to determine what knowledge of graphic software we should have and choose the best software for sublimation printing so as not to be disappointed with a result.
Adobe Photoshop – one of the best software for sublimation printing
You can use whatever graphic design software you are most comfortable with, depending on your preference. Adobe Photoshop is the preferred photo and image processing software.
It is a design software with very powerful tools that allow you to do color correction, and include design elements and a wide range of filters to produce professional photos.
Optimal software for vector images
If we are going to work with a vector image, the most popular programs are CorelDRAW or Adobe Illustrator. However, there are other free software options as well. It’s important to be clear that to ensure long-term success in your sublimation business, you need to be well-versed in graphic design software.
Adobe Photoshop is a raster graphics editor developed by Adobe Systems Incorporated. Mainly used for retouching photos and graphics.
Adobe Illustrator is a vector graphics editor in the form of an art studio working on a drawing board known as a “workbench” and designed to artistically create drawings and paintings for illustration.
CorelDRAW is a vector drawing program with extensive graphics functions that implement basic diagramming tools and is considered versatile in how it can manipulate vector pictures and raster images.
Sketch is a vector design tool for Mac with a focus on screen design. It is mainly used by designers creating websites, icons, and user interfaces for desktop computers.
Canva gives you everything you need to easily turn ideas into dazzling designs. Create designs for Web or print: graphics for blogs, presentations, Facebook covers, flyers, posters, invitations and more.
Affinity Designer is the fastest, smoothest and most accurate vector graphics program available. Every element, tool, panel and feature, built from the ground up over five years, has been designed with your needs in mind.
Gravit Designer is a multifunctional vector graphics tool. It is an installable desktop application. It is also an application for those who prefer a browser. In the latest versions of the application, the developers have fixed many problems with the functionality, which can make fans happier.
Offeo is an online video maker that makes it easy for small businesses to create stunning social media videos. It comes with thousands of animated templates and graphics that you can drag and drop and make right away.
An online packaging tool that allows anyone to generate custom lines in seconds, very accurately and professionally. They are ready to be imported into vector graphic programs or to create die-cutting tools.
Autodesk Graphic is a modern, full-featured graphic design and illustration application designed specifically for Mac OS X. Equipped with many powerful features and easy to use, Graphic lets you create stunning sublimation designs.
How to choose the best software for sublimation design
With so many options available online, it can be quite daunting to decide which sublimation software or applications are right for you. Here are some key points to consider when shopping for sublimation printing software.
Easy-to-use graphical user interface
The first thing to consider when choosing a sublimation software or app is the ease of use of the graphical user interface, which can be customized to suit your needs. The tools are easily accessible, and you can design without having to search for options here and there. The flexible and customizable user interface makes designing convenient and fast.
Whether you want a raster image for sublimation printing or a vector editor, make sure the sublimation design software you buy can do it all. There is software that has both types of editing options available, but if you want specialized for graphic or vector editing, you can choose accordingly.
Customizable ICC profiles for color, service features, and compatibility with the operating system and third-party plug-ins and tools are important features to check before purchasing the software.
Make sure that the software offers additional tools and plug-in support to avoid glitches during design. Also, check the compatibility of the software with the printer you are using so that your prints will be flawless.
Last but not least is the price of the software. You can choose free sublimation software or free versions of expensive software at first, and later you can upgrade to the paid version for your design needs. The free versions have limited features, but are great for beginners and personal use.
What kind of program to choose for beginner
The free-source computer application GIMP is one of the most popular alternatives to apprentice programs. You can get this program for free, and it includes several fundamental photo editing features. Since it’s not the most expensive program – it’s a great starting point for those who want to try sublimation printing for fun!
If you want to start a sublimation printing business, you should start using Adobe Illustrator. To make this program work for you, you’ll have to master most of its features, but it will provide you with all the tools you need for both the beginner and the experienced.
However, if you’re just getting started with organizing the program, think about what you hope to get out of it. If you need to create cool lettering for fun T-shirts, you can use Canva or Cricut’s Design Space just as successfully as, say, an expensive app!
How to make sublimation printing perfectly
You can use various software editing tools or websites to create sublimation printing. Depending on which application you use, the ways you edit the photo or choose a text style for the lettering will vary slightly.
Each program has its special selections and planning tools. You can download a ready-made plan, edit a ready-made plan or format, or create your model from scratch regardless of the program you choose.
Whether you use a raster or vector image for sublimation design, you must use the right organization for your strategy. In a resizable SVG entry, lettering tends to work better.
Photographs or highly detailed images can become better and make it easier to edit raster images. Also, you should make sure that you have recently studied and changed the ICC profile in your program.
This ensures that the colors you see on your computer screen will be printed in the correct color scheme.
Is using Cricut Design Space justified for sublimation printing?
To make specific patterns on design software, use Cricut Plan Space. You have access to Plan Space if you own the well-known Cricut e-cutting software. The online Cricut software used to edit and create digital files for cutting and printing is usually only partially free.
Plan Space and several layouts are available for free from Design Space. In any case, this program gives you access to many ready-made designs and text styles, many of which require a one-time fee. Using Cricut Design Space is easy and useful.
You can create layers, and there are many text styles in the app. However, you will find that the program limits your ability to create an item-by-item plan and that it lacks the most advanced photo editing tools.
To create a simple layout on the sublimation printer, use Cricut Plan Space. If you have a Cricut digital device, you can use Plan Space. The Cricut online app has a separate section where users can upload and create complex files for printing and cropping.
Plan Space and some other formats can be used for free in Design Space. In any case, many of the finished designs and text formatting you can get through the program require payment.
Using Design Space is one of the best sublimation software. There are many text styles in which you can create layers.
Features of sublimation transfer sticker printing
When your thought-out plan is ready to go, you need to learn how to print sublimation transfers. In most cases, this is very simple, but you can also send your printing concept to a company that will print the transfer on your behalf.
Then all you have to do is apply the sublimation to your merchandise with heat. Some professionals or small business owners prefer this method because it eliminates the need to buy or maintain a sublimation printer.
On a sublimation transfer, print your design as follows:
- Your printer must be set up for sublimation colors.
- The easiest option is to purchase a printer designed specifically for sublimation printing, as it already contains these exceptional water-based dyes preloaded into the printer.
- After that, enclose a replacement sheet. It usually has two sides, one glossy and one matte.
- Make sure you want to reflect the image before you press the “print” button on the advanced entry.
Note: Read the instructions on the paper package, so you know how to insert it correctly into the printer. Also, although it probably goes without saying, you should use sublimation paper.
You should find a “reflect” gadget in your planning software for the lettering or any image. Then send the file to print! Printing on sublimation stock is easy.
You can put the transferable sticker on a t-shirt with a heated press or put it away for a few months if you’re not going to work with it right now.
Where to find and how to use sublimation patterns
You can purchase free version printing plans from individual artisans or free or trial versions of sublimation printing software. In addition, you can get the easiest introduction to sublimation printing by using free downloads.
Many professionals have their online stores on sites like Etsy, and they often run promotions offering several free services. Beginning crafters often offer free services through their blogs or Pinterest.
You can also take advantage of free items distributed by initiative groups like Sawgrass’ Plan Foundation or Cricut’s Design Space. Although you have to pay for many of the extra features, you can open an account with these online planning tools for free.
Sometimes open-source software clients share drawings for free, creating a library of free plans from which you can choose! For example, you can see this regularly with Inkscape users.
Wherever you encounter free images, you should pay attention to several important characteristics. First of all, you will be required to prove that you have found high-quality images.
The most appropriate file types for sublimation printing are JPEG, SVG, PNG, PDF, EPS or TIFF. Finally, always keep in mind that you will still need some sort of sublimation printing software in case you have to monitor or proofread the free image you are sending.
The other thing is that you’ll have to use it in its original form and hope that it will work for your project.
The quality and speed of sublimation printing depend on the type of operating system
Which apps work best may depend on your preferred operating system or device. Multiply is only available to Apple users. Android users cannot use it.
You should use more than one program, depending on what you’re working on. However, Photoshop and Plan Space are generally considered the best configuration.
Note: Apply accurate color settings to your workspace, including the printer.
Your choice of program will be influenced by the type of client interface you use and your skill level. You can plan, draw, and do much more with a variety of effective applications and tools for working with dye-sublimation printing.
Do your research and, if possible, test everything before you buy. While some provide free trials and others require a monthly fee, you can be sure to find the perfect solution for you.
Special plans will be at your fingertips once you have mastered the program of your choice. The ease of use and user-friendliness of the plans will turn your models into a work of art in no time.
Otherwise, you can purchase PNG records and exceed expectations in sublimation printing without spending a lot of time.
Many people’s choice: What are the best applications for sublimation printing
The following programs are considered the best in terms of functionality, ease of use, and free trial period:
- Adobe Illustrator;
Getting started in sublimation printing requires a lot of effort, both physical and financial. However, with these programs, you’ll get up to speed quickly and be able to start printing unbeatable models in as little as a week.
Does Epson have sublimation software
Epson brand printers are among the pioneers in the world of sublimation printers. Some of the parameters of each printer may vary considerably, including the type of operating system supported.
However, for the most part, many print creation programs such as Affinity Designer, Canva, Go Daddy Studio, and Procreate are ideal for Epson printers.
Creating a sublimation design – relevant to sublimation printing
There’s nothing new here. The big players such as Adobe Illustrator, CorelDRAW, Inkscape, Gimp and Canva bribe many sublimation designers with a simple interface, a large number of unique features and the final quality of the finished design.
However, there are slightly awkward and unusual features that may seem strange to some. It’s all individual. Perhaps you will settle on a program with a total of 5,000 users, and it will be the perfect solution for you.
How do you create a digital design for sublimation
Sublimation inks and printers are the basic equipment needed to transfer a sublimation design. You will need a special type of sublimation ink and sublimation paper or transfer paper.
Making sublimation inks is complicated and expensive. In addition to this, it sticks to the surface of the object you want to print on by heat.
Similarly, transfer paper does not bond with dye-sublimation inks, but only holds the image created with dye-sublimation inks so that you can transfer it to the surface you want.
Also read: How to do sublimation with Cricut?
High-quality digital drawings that are detailed and accurate are best suited for sublimation printing. Using specialized graphic design software such as Adobe Illustrator, CorelDRAW, or Sawgrass, you can make such drawings yourself.
There are even free solutions with a wide range of graphic design tools, such as Canva, Inkscape, and GIMP. When choosing a design program, keep in mind that some programs work better with raster images, while others emphasize vector design tools. You can also look for unique features, such as the program’s included application.
And what is the best sublimation printer to choose you can read here.
Hi, I’m artist and sublimation printing expert. Born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, I had passion for photography and painting from my childhood. I started my career as a sublimation print operator for a local printing company in 2012. The role exposed gave me lots of practical knowledge about printing process, from managing color profiles to ensuring print quality on various materials.