I’ll admit it. I am not very good at making original designs, choosing colors or anything having to do with creating graphics from scratch. I’m a writer, marketer and business person, not a graphic designer. But, I also love sublimation and making products that make people melt. That makes me an avid shopper of cool graphics that will appeal to all different kinds of people.
We all know that there are large companies that sell graphics. Shutterstock, The Hungry JPEG, Design Bundles, Vecteezy, Designcuts and CreativeMarket are all companies that sell a wide variety of graphics, fonts and design elements. However, there are a large number of independent designers and artists out there who have a more unique take on designs specific for product decoration and sublimation transfer.
Here is a look at three resources for high-quality sublimation graphics and designs that come from businesses who are in the product decoration trenches – just like you!
Of Love and Shiplap
I came across Of Love and Shiplap after I joined the SUB THAT: Sublimation Graphics & Tutorials group on Facebook, which is run by OLAS owner Leanne Rose Clute. Then I started seeing Clute’s designs across all of the sublimation groups I’m part of and people raving about her graphics membership package. So, I decided to check out her website!
What I found was that Clute is offering not only a great deal on graphics in general, but monthly exclusives, weekly updates and really great designs that speak to so many sublimation customers. She sells one-off downloads of her designs, which is great if you are just interested in a graphic here and there. However, if you view her collection of more than 17 pages of images, you just may find that buying an annual subscription for $119 is a much better option.
Just how good of a deal is this? Clute recently posted about the value she offers on Facebook: “Over $4,000 currently on my shop – YOU GET THEM ALL – PLUS every design for an entire year from purchase date, PLUS over $50 in exclusive designs each month. There is a bonus 10 bundle each month, extra bonus design each week, and other bonuses for milestones and occasions, such as reaching 10K, Alexandra’s Birthday, and much more!”
I love the softness in many of her designs and her diverse use of color. I also love the diversity of people represented in her graphics. In fact, Of Love and Shiplap is offering a free graphic during Autism Awareness Month!
Clute has a unique take on clever phrases and puns – always popular sellers – and provides not only graphic files, but also mockups for use in selling. My top picks are the camping-focused graphics she has developed. They cover campers, campfires and the outdoor life, and though some feature phrases/sayings you’re sure to have heard before, the lovely take on the graphics makes the whole thing seem fresh and new.
LPB Designs and More
Nicky Martone Adamkiewicz owns the LPB Designs and More store on Etsy and is a self-described “quality freak” when it comes to the products she offers. This applies to both the designs she sells and her finished products she retails. She also hosts The Sass live video on Sundays in the Sublimation & More! Facebook page and group.
Adamkiewicz is tuned in with what’s popular and selling for sublimated products these days, as she does quite a bit of business selling them herself. Her designs span from homey and rustic to cute, classic and even practical.
“My influences are typically driven by my own passions, things that I love,” she says. “My business tag line is not only made with hands, but heart.”
She also bundles designs and substrates together to give customers ideas for how they can make the most out of their graphics purchase with her. The graphics are sized for specific templates, which also saves you some time during production.
Her design bundles for first responders, law enforcement, nurses and medical professionals are real winners. I also like her distressed flags for all kinds of applications and groups. My top pick, however, is her four-design bundle for the Tree of Life wall hanging from Hale Bound.
Aparecium Design Co.
Ashley Dodd’s Aparecium Design Co. Etsy store is the home for her digital graphics downloads for sublimation. She says her designs are greatly influenced by continually making sublimated products.
“Classic designers are most likely not aware of the nuances or limitations of the sublimation process,” Dodd says. “But with a full understanding of the process and products, I am able to create designs that often cannot be reproduced with other printing or decoration methods. I really love being able to work with various textures and being able to combine objects that often create a 3D effect or illusion.”
It was this style that drew my attention to her work. Dodd has a fantastic knack for adding texture to her designs, which, with the high resolution and color quality you get with sublimation printing, make for really compelling images. And as anyone who works in product decoration knows, it’s the images that sell, not the substrate.
Dodd’s latest listings feature chicken wire, distressed metal and wood textures, often creating a sense of depth on a flat substrate, like an MDF photo panel.
“Sublimation offers such a wide range of substrates that fit into practically anything you can think of,” Dodd says. “I really enjoy finding substrates that fit my design style and creating original designs specifically for those items.”
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