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CreativeStudio: Changing the Face of Sublimation

Posted: 2/8/2016

It’s been nearly a year since Sawgrass debuted CreativeStudio as part of the Virtuoso HD Product Decorating system. In this short time, there is little doubt that this suite of design and color management software has made a huge impact in the world of sublimation.

Included as part of our fully integrated Virtuoso systems, CreativeStudio has greatly simplified the process of creating, processing and managing images specifically for sublimation production. In an industry where quality graphics and design are everything, this is a huge step forward for both new and existing product decorators.

What Makes CreativeStudio Different

Historically, product decorators generally had three options for generating and editing graphics for customer orders: CorelDRAW, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. These are still great programs that play an important part in the world of sublimation graphics. However, each has its challenges for even the most experienced users.

For those who are just starting up, learning to use these programs - and the technical role of graphics in digital decorating in general - can be a bit overwhelming. All three are very versatile and powerful tools used by professional designers for lots of different applications. They’re designed specifically for commercial print and digital graphics production and offer an ever-expanding toolbox of features.

In many cases, these programs have much more than a digital decorator really needs to produce beautiful products. In fact, most users only use a small percentage of the features their graphics programs offer. The reason? They don’t have the time to learn and master all of the functions of true graphics programs that are focused on building images from scratch. Most sublimators just need to modify existing images for application onto different substrates.

Finally, the price tag attached to many of these programs is substantial. The latest version of CorelDRAW goes for about $499 - a costly addition to any business, especially one just starting out. 

When Sawgrass realized this dilemma, we set out to engineer a program that would be built totally around the needs of product decorators. It would be simple, intuitive and specific for sublimation production - something that no software to-date has been able to offer. The result was CreativeStudio.

How CreativeStudio Works

CreativeStudio has two main components: the CS Online Designer and the CS Print Manager. CS Online Designer is a web-based, product-centric program that enables users to create images for specific items they wish to make. You can access it from any internet-connected computer, tablet or mobile device using Windows, Mac or Android OS. Your designs are saved to the cloud and can be accessed anytime you log into your CreativeStudio account.

The design process starts with selecting the actual product that will be decorated from a comprehensive list of substrate templates. These templates have been built to the specs of actual substrates sold by the most popular manufacturers, including: Unisub, ChromaLuxe, Vapor Apparel, as well as a wide selection of drinkware, tiles, and specialty products. If what you need isn’t there - let your supplier know and we’ll add it right away. These templates ensure that your designs are sized and shaped to fit the exact product, and even include bleed lines that trim the design to the appropriate size to print full bleeds.

Next, you can select an editable art template from one of the hundreds included with CreativeStudio. These are a great starting point for those who are new to graphics creation for digital decorating. You can customize colors, sizes, text, fonts, images and more in these editable templates and create head-turning designs for customers.  

If you prefer not to work with an art template, you can always build your creation from scratch by using any of the thousands of stock images and design elements included with CreativeStudio. You can also upload your own photos, graphics and images. Plus, you can still use all of CreativeStudio’s fonts and add/format text as needed.  

Once you are satisfied with your design, you’ll save it to the cloud through your CreativeStudio account. You can also save your designs as templates that you can use in the future, which is a great feature for jobs you frequently print.  

Though you create your designs using the online designer, you will need a computer that has CS Print Manager installed and is connected to your Virtuoso printer in order to create your transfers. CS Print Manager is printer software for Windows and Mac OS that enables you to send the designs you create online to your printer. With this software, you can also easily:

  • Apply settings optimal for graphic images and/or color and black-and-white photos.
  • Adjust the hue, contrast, brightness and saturation to meet the needs of even your most selective customers.
  • Create hot folders and save custom settings so you can quickly print repeat jobs.  

The Advantages

CreativeStudio gives sublimators and digital decorators a lot of advantages that save time and make production much more streamlined:

  • As long as you’re connected to the Internet, you can quickly and easily show customers design proofs no matter where you are.
  • CreativeStudio is so easy to use that anyone can start creating great designs within minutes.
  • The program’s functions are so intuitive and user friendly that many customers find that they don’t need training to use.
  • Users can access all the information they need to fully unlock the power of CreativeStudio with our complete collection of online instructional video clips.
  • Our growing library of more than 5,000 stock images, photos, templates and designs are available absolutely free - saving you thousands in additional software costs.
  • CreativeStudio is fully integrated as part of your Virtuoso system, and is designed to ensure your designs are printed at optimal quality.   
  • You can access technical support for both your printer and CreativeStudio 27/7/365 through SawgrassInk.com.
  • You can use CreativeStudio with all of Sawgrass’ Virtuoso systems, including:

Interested in Seeing CreativeStudio in Action?  

Visit www.sawgrassink.com/creativestudiodemo to register for a test account. You’ll gain access to a fully functional version of CreativeStudio that will enable you to test all of its features (except for printing).

CreativeStudio is revolutionary for product decorators and will only get better as we continue to add more graphical elements, features and functions. Make sure you’re subscribed to our newsletter for the latest CreativeStudio content updates and news. This program truly is changing the face of our industry!