How to Create Sublimation Designs | Sublimation Design Software

Couldn’t find the perfect design for sublimation? No worries, you can create one! It’s way easier this way and you can put into the picture whatever ideas you are thinking of in the most creative ways possible. Now, how to create a sublimation design. Again, no worries!  Here, we came up with 8 of the best sublimation software that you may have never heard of except for a few. 

Sublimation Design Software

Though, sublimation design software is both free and paid. Also, the skill level matters too as some are more difficult yet professional than others. So, what we’ll be covering is the details of these software, including what you can do and what you cannot, which one’s easy, and which one has more features. So let’s dive in!

Top design software for sublimation printing:

So, here’s the list of the best software design for sublimation with which you can easily create all your designs. 

  1. Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, and illustrator 
  2. GIMP 
  3. Coreldraw 
  4. Pixlr 
  5. Affinity designer 
  6. Gravit designer 
  7. Inscape 
  8. Sketch 

If you are previously familiar with designing and stuff, you can instantly go on to explore these sublimation software online. However, as a beginner, we’ll recommend you to go through the details to kibno0w what exactly each software can do to meet your needs rightfully.

Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, and illustrator:  

Who doesn’t hear of adobe? I mean there’s no designing software more popular than adobe. However, the point of focus is, what actually adobe can do and what features you can enjoy with adobe. Although there are three different softwares within adobe, first is Photoshop, another is InDesign, and the last one is Illustrator. 

Starting with photoshop which is sublimation editing software, through which you can edit and create sublimation designs and images. Here you can use plugins that are very helpful in giving themes as well as a professional look to your work. 3D extrusion is another quality feature of Photoshop. Besides, it’s the easiest one to begin designing as well as quick and most accurate. 

Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, and illustrator

Next to photoshop is InDesign, which is used for posters, magazines, and cover designing. If you are a text lover then this one is for you. Basically, its typesetting has amazing fonts and it can even write Hebrew and Arabic as well so give it a go for amazing text designing.  

The last one is the illustrator and a combination of both Indesign and Photoshop with a few more interesting features. Here you can use text, edit, use layouts, and moreover draw your own design. Here basically, you illustrate your design using your imagination and ideas. Additionally, you can use vector graphics which is what it is best known for, and also you can use it with Inkscape to design sublimation images.  

However, here’s a twist! All the latest versions of these softwares are paid which is why most professional designers consider using other free tools for sublimation printing. Though, as a beginner, these are the easiest sublimation app to give designing a go and it totally worth the subscription! 


Gimp is an open-source editor with which you can perform image manipulation. Apart from graphic designing, it also allows for importing pictures from your devices and editing them using color-changing effects, layout changes, and much more. In addition, you can also export the file in various formats as you feel is more feasible. Above all, it’s entirely free so you can just download it in your windows, macOS, or Linux and start designing today! 

GIMP logo


If you are a sketching artist, this one’s for you. The best software for sublimation printing is to create sketches and then get them printed with the sublimation printer and flex your apparel. Other than sketches, it offers thousands of amazing templates and gradients to be used for sublimation printing. You can also use multiple file formats to export your file. Moreover, it’s exceptionally fast and smooth.

On the downside, however, it is paid yet the subscription method can be yearly or monthly as to what package fits your budget and requirements. 

Coreldraw logo


For a beginner, Pixlr is a great tool to start designing. It’s a free sublimation design software and it’s compatible with many file formats i.e you can edit any file format in Pixlr. Whereas, creating your own design is also fun. You can access unique content provided by Pixlr and many other features that you can use with the app for sublimation.

Additionally, it’s an online app and you can browse it whenever you want without downloading the app or software. Although it’s free it offers 2 highly-affordable subscription plans for unlocking millions of different features with one at  $4.99 and the other is $14.99. 

pixlr logo

Affinity designer:

You go to affinity designer if you want an alternative to adobe illustrator. It’s totally like adobe illustrator at a much cheaper price. With it, you can use vector designing as well as pixel designing.

It allows you to lock the design and then continue using the pen or tools to draw accurately. Also, you can use the zoom feature (and it’s the best part) it zooms to whatever detail you want without blurring the image. 

Affinity designer logo

Gravit designer:

If you happen to be a developer or someone who loves coding, then just download it ASAP! It’s a treat for coding experts since the work here is based on HTML coding. Though it has a number of features and factors and the best one among them is how conveniently customizable the software is. You can edit almost any file format and likewise, export it in any format for sublimation printing.

Also, here is vector designing as well which saves you from illustrator and other paid apps. Additionally, you can opt for Pen, Lasso, and Bezigon to create the design with extra creativity. Though the app is all-in-one and it’s free as well if you don’t wanna subscribe which charges 50 dollars. However, it can be hard for those who are not familiar with coding. 

Gravit designer logo


Like the GIMP, Inkscape is also an open-source platform with hunre4ds of plugins and tools. The best part about Inscape is the user-friendly interface of the app. I mean, you can go on and simply understand the features. You can also enjoy pre-set filters and narrow down the efforts of doing the whole design work.

Besides that, it also performs vector graphic work and gradients with which you can take your graphic work to next level for sublimation, all that FOR FREE! However, there will be a speed issue with this app if you have a low-speed window otherwise it works fine. 

inscape logo


Sketch is a paid tool for, well obviously the name says it all, vector graphic designing. However, you can also use a number of plugins and editing tools with it. It is fast and highly user-friendly. Other than plugins, it also gives screen templates which are very helpful in giving the outline of the design.

Well, the best part is, it auto-saves the work so if you, in any case, lose your work, you can always store it. Exporting is also is with various formats. Lastly, you can use it on both mobile phones and computers.

sketch logo


Without any doubt, it’s the CMYK since it has the same color options as the printer. Additionally, adjustments are easy here as well. Though, if your file is in black and white, you can opt for the grayscale file.

If the image has texts, it will require mirroring when getting it printed because sublimation requires the transfer and it’ll get reveres there if it’s not mirrored while printing.

To create a sublimation file, you need to export the file from the software you are working on in PNG format and save it in any folder you wish to save.

Ending note: 

A sublimation design software can be a lot of help in creating various beautiful designs for your business and personal use. Though we have covered almost every top software out there that professionals use and with the information that we have provided, we are pretty much sure that now must have decided on what software you going to carry your work with. 

All in all, adobe (all three) is the perfect software to start out as per our suggestion. However, GIMPN and Coreldraw are best if you want more variations and effects in your work. Although, that’s totally dependent on you, as you can choose the rest of any as what you find more easy and fascinating. Wishing you tons of creativity! Goodluck.


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