Sublimation Design: What is Boho?

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Sublimation design trends come and go. One that seems to have some sticking power is boho. Short for bohemian, boho is a design style that is hard to define, but you’ll likely know it when you see it.

If you look up the definition of bohemian, you’ll find descriptors such as unconventional, artistic, wandering and free. The French poets and artists the 1800’s (Moulin Rouge anyone?). The hippies traveling America in the ’60s. They have all been described as bohemian.

The boho design styles for sublimation we see today focus much more on earth tones, Native American and Aztec-inspired imagery, natural elements and even animal skulls. Even with these basic features associated with boho, no two people seem to view the style the same way.

Melissa Lewis of The Brown Girl Boutique thinks of boho as “muted 70s style mixed with native influence, like feathers and turquoise accent colors.” Though she describes the customer base for her sublimation business as having more “Afrocentric” tastes, she herself likes the earthy and feather aspects of this design style.

On the other hand, Audra Simons Anderson of The Twisted Peach Company describes boho as “creative, bright colorful accents incorporated with muted textures (like leather), unconventional, unique, feathers, floral, bull skulls.” She says boho designs for sublimation are among her best sellers, and that she loves that they have a “fun, light and non-conforming vibe to them.”

Often you will find boho graphics packages for sale through TheHungryJPEG.com and DesignBundles.com, to name a few. A quick search can result in any number of design elements: black-and-white cactuses, watercolor flowers, arrows and feathers, dreamcatchers and teepees, deer silhouettes, steer skulls, Aztec shapes and patterns.

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The colors range from deep to almost pastel, often mixed together for a stark contrast. One of the common elements of this design style seems to be a hand-drawn or painted look. Watercolors are popular among boho graphic artists, as are plain black and white designs that allow the purchaser of the artwork to define their own palette.

Fonts seen with boho designs tend to be scripty, but modern. They can be either thin or fat, with some even having elements of arrows and Aztec-like shapes included in the lettering styles. The overall effect is breezy and fun, so finding cool fonts to play with adds to the creativity of using this style in your sublimation work.

If you haven’t dipped your feet into the boho design style for sublimation transfers, now is a great time to start.


Robin Kavanagh

Robin Kavanagh

Robin Kavanagh has spent five years working in the sublimation industry. Formerly the Public Relations Manager for Sawgrass and owner of a sublimated products business, Robin brings unique knowledge and experience to the readers of Sublimation Today.
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