What is the Best Software for Sublimation Printing?

Do you know? How does printing happen on the mugs, t-shirts, signs on board, or other products?

Sublimation printing is a digital method that uses heat and pressure to transfer dye from a special paper to a product.

This type of printing is known as sublimation printing because the dye sublimates, or changes from solid to gas, without passing through the liquid state. With sublimation printing, we can print on different materials, such as fabrics, plastics, metals, ceramics, and glass.

Some best sublimation printing software is Canva, Inkscape, GIMP, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and CorelDraw. After reading this article, you will know the best software for sublimation printing.

Overview of Sublimation Software

Sublimation software is a type of software that creates and prints designs using the sublimation printing technique. This technique applies pressure and heat to transfer dye from a special paper to the product.

Overview of Sublimation Software

Raster and vector are two types of digital images that can be used for sublimation printing. These digital images have different characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages. Therefore, the choice of image type depends on your purpose and the design of the prints.

Raster Graphic

Raster graphics are digital images of pixels and tiny color squares comprising entire photos. Hence, this graphic is suitable for printing complex images with many colors, gradients, and details.

In addition, Raster graphics can be easily edited and enhanced with the help of sublimation software like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Corel photo-paints.

However, raster graphics have a fixed resolution, which means they have a set number of pixels per inch (PPI). If we zoom in, the quality may deteriorate. In addition, we can save them in these formats: JPEG, PNG, GIF, or TIFF.

Vector Graphic

A vector graphic comprises mathematical formulas that specify an image’s lines, colors, and shapes. The best vector graphics used are to print logos, illustrations, and simple forms with solid colors and precise edges. We can easily create and modify using sublimation software like Adobe Illustrator, CorelDraw, or Inkscape.

Vector graphics, on the other hand, have a flexible resolution, which means they can be zoomed in and out without losing quality. Additionally, we can save in various formats, such as SVG, EPS, PDF, or AI.

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Top 3 Free Sublimation Software Options

These are the three free software programs for sublimation printing,

1. Canva

Canva is the best online graphic design tool that offers a wide range of templates and elements for design.



  • Drag and drop interface that is simple to use
  • Next, It provides a wide range of templates for various types of content, such as social media graphics, videos, presentations, posters, and more.
  • Also, it allows for collaborative design projects.


  • Watermarks on specific elements or templates may appear in the accessible version of Canva.
  • To access and use it, users require a reliable internet connection.

2. Inkscape

Inkscape is another example of open-source and free vector graphics software with a unique feature. This feature is not easily found in other similar products. It is the ability to export files in the sublimation printing format.



  • You can create and edit vector graphics suitable for printing logos, illustrations, and simple shapes.
  • Next, it supports many editable formats, such as SVG, EPS, PDF, or AI.
  • compelling shape creation and editing tools
  • Also, it can run on Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux.


  • learning curve for individuals who are new to vector graphics concepts and tools.
  • Lastly, It has limited options for developing 3D designs.


GIMP is an open-source and free raster graphics software that features a wide range of tools and features for image editing. 



  • It has a similar tool to Photoshop
  • Also, it is lightweight and can run on Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux.


  • Not user-friendly interface
  • Another con is limited support.

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3 Best Paid Sublimation Software

These are the three best-paid software programs for sublimation printing,

1. Adobe Photoshop

It is a potent tool for photo editing. We can create and manipulate raster graphics, which are made up of pixels. So, Photoshop can also work with vector graphics.

Adobe Photoshop


  • Advanced photography features include spot healing, frequency separation, dodge, burn, etc.
  • It Supports JPEG, PNG, GIF, TIFF, PDF, etc.
  • Highly customizable shortcuts that allow users to work more quickly and efficiently.
  • Also, Integration of artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, such as adding content, choosing a subject, using neural filters,


  • It is expensive, as users have to pay a monthly or annual subscription fee
  • Next, it has high-quality graphics that are difficult to render in 3D models.
  • Certain features do not have progress bars.

2. Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator is a professional graphic design software that specializes in vector graphics. Hence, vector graphics suit logos, illustrations, and simple shapes with solid colors and precise edges.

Unlike raster graphics, vector graphics can be resized up or down without sacrificing quality. Also, Adobe Illustrator can create and edit vector graphics with various tools and features.

Adobe Illustrator


  • It can create and edit scalable vector graphics without losing their quality.
  • Support SVG, EPS, PDF, or AI with other graphic design software.


  • It is hard to learn if you are new
  • And, The user’s face is confusing

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3. CorelDraw

CorelDraw can work with raster and vector graphics, but it focuses more on the latter. 



  • It allows users to work on multiple artboards simultaneously.
  • Users can edit and create vector graphics with it.
  • Another is cropping and resizing tools, allowing users to crop and resize their images easily.


  • Not offer the same level of customization
  • Fewer tools and options
  • Also, It may not have a large or active community

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What is sublimation software?

These types of software enable you to create and print designs using sublimation printing methods. Heat and pressure are applied to transfer dye from a special paper to the products in this process.

What are the benefits of using sublimation software?

There are various benefits. You can create high-quality designs for printing onto clothes, mugs, and other products and sublimation prints on your laptop, mobile, or smartphone, depending on the software you use.

What are the three best free sublimation printing software?

Canva, Inkspace, and GIMP are the three best free sublimation printing software that are very popular nowadays.

What are the three best-paid sublimation printing software?

Some of the best-paid sublimation printing software are Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and CorelDraw.


Sublimation printing is a type of software that creates and prints designs. In this method, we first design and build the design on a particular paper, using some excellent software that is known as sublimation printing software.

Then, we transfer the design from the special paper to materials like mugs or t-shirts. In the final step, we apply heat and pressure to transfer dye from the special paper to the products.

There is a lot of sublimation printing software available on the market. Some offer free services, and some offer paid services, including pros and cons. Additionally, This software provides various features and functions that make it easy to design.

For beginners, Canva is the best tool that offers professionally made templates. If you are a professional, then you can consider Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, which have advanced features. Selecting the best software depends on your needs.

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