The highest level of human intelligence is creativity; it truly separates us from everything that exists on the planet. While animals are capable of showing their emotions and computers are adept at calculating complex equations, creativity still remains a purely human domain.
Speaking of creativity, humans have always found new ways to express themselves. From body art to t-shirt designs, creativity today knows no bounds!
Be it slogans or pictures, or even some abstract design, t-shirts and creativity are the perfect combination to express yourself.
Apart from the software, several online platforms allow you to create t-shirt design contests where you can choose from several professional designs.
Are you still in doubt about whether to pick software or go for a t-shirt design contest or maybe just stick to a mobile phone app? Well, let me help make things easier by creating a list of the top software, apps, and t-shirt design platforms just for you.
1. Adobe Illustrator – for those who don’t compromise with quality
This high-end vector graphics editor was created specifically for those who choose quality over quantity. This professional software can be fun to use if you have the time to learn a bit of editing and graphic designs.
Adobe Illustrator comes with a host of tools that can help you create amazing designs. The software helps you create vector images, which means you can scale the size of the image according to your preference without losing the quality of the picture.
2. GraffixPro Studio – for those who want to make a living designing t-shirts
“No need to learn complicated graphics software or photo editing programs…” says GraffixPro’s official website. The software comes loaded with design presets, artwork manipulation, shadows, and distressed effects. The paid version of the software has proved to be useful for people who run t-shirt printing businesses.
If you are looking to start a graphic design and t-shirt printing business, you must keep- GraffixPro Studio as one of your options.
3. Printful – for those who like creating designs online
Printful helps you create high-resolution images online and download print-ready files for free. The online platform provides “easy-to-use design tools” with more than “80 million photos and illustrations from Getty images.”
Printful allows you to use their platform to create your brand online. The online t-shirt design platform receives orders from customers on your behalf, fulfills them, and ships them!
While the software can limit your design experiences, on the whole, the online platform provides a good deal.
4. Adobe Photoshop – a name synonymous with digital arts
While Illustrator is vector-based, Photoshop is raster-based, which means the software uses pixels to create images. Photoshop is generally used for designing high-resolution images and creating amazing effects.
Created in 1988 by brothers John and Thomas Knoll, Photoshop quickly became the cornerstone of raster graphics editing. You can use Photoshop to design your t-shirt using several layers, multiple color models, alpha compositing, and masks.
5. DesignBro – for those looking for agency-quality t-shirt designs at a freelance price
Yes, you heard that right! DesignBro is the new kid on the block that has set a very high standard for others.
DesignBro is a creative platform that allows you to start a t-shirt design contest or work directly with a designer. The online platform uses the best 5% of t-shirt designers to bring you top class designs. The creative platform also allows you to retain complete ownership of your ready-to-use files. And that’s not all; DesignBro offers you a money-back guarantee as well.
6. Canva – an app for beginners
We spoke about online design platforms and different software that can help you with your t-shirt designing needs. However, today’s generation needs something on the go, something they can use on their android or iOS sets. Canva is an app you can download and use from anywhere.
The app has a logo maker, photo editor, color palette generator, and a host of other features that you can use to make your own t-shirt designs.
7. InkScape – for those looking for free t-shirt design software
Take a bow ladies, and gentlemen InkScape is here! The Free online software is quickly changing the way the graphic designing industry functions. This power-packed software comes fully loaded with features similar to Adobe Illustrator; only it’s free! The vector software is also capable of supporting raster images.
The open-source vector editor does not feature t-shirt templates; however, once you understand how the software works, you can create unimaginable designs.
8. Placeit – user-friendly interface
The user-friendly Placeit interface can be useful for both beginners and professional designers. Regarded as one of the best software for t-shirt designs, Placeit speeds up the design process by offering tens of thousands of templates. The software allows you to create realistic mockups for t-shirts and sweatshirts.
While it is true that Placeit does not require you to buy shirts after you have designed them, you are required to pay a subscription fee to create unlimited designs and mockups.
9. GIMP – for those looking for a Photoshop alternative
While Inkscape is regarded as the free alternative to Adobe Illustrator, GIMP is seen as an effective substitute for Adobe Photoshop. GNU Image Manipulation Program or GIMP is an open-source raster editor, which has existed for over two decades.
The raster-based design software can be used for creating amazing designs.
A Lifewire article mentions the following:
“…those who have never experienced Photoshop, GIMP is simply a very powerful image manipulation program…”
10. Snaptee design your t-shirt on your mobile phone
“Snaptee is a brand that believes everyone should be able to create one’s own custom t-shirts. You can easily try this on our kiosk, or even on your mobile phone!”
Snaptee is truly a powerful app because it comes packed with all the features required to create jaw-dropping designs. The app allows you to create your original design and sync them with Instagram.
The simple interface allows users to create trendy t-shirt designs in a matter of minutes.
11. CorelDraw – for professionals who love experimenting with designs
Released in 1989, CorelDraw is one of the leading graphics tools for professionals and agencies today. The software allows you to create vector-based images along with supporting other formats as well.
The software tempts you with a 15-day free trial. And once you figure out how it works, it’s simply magic from then on! The software comes packed with more than 150 design templates, clip-art images, bitmap, vector files, and a host of attractive add-ons.
CorelDraw is truly the ultimate t-shirt design maker.
12. Yayprint – an user-friendly t-shirt design app
Yayprint is another user-friendly t-shirt design app that comes with a host of easy-to-use features. The app lets you customize colors, images, fonts, and various design patterns. You can comfortably design T-shirts, bags, phone cases, and hoodies using the app.
If you love working with filters then Yayprint is just the app for you. The gallery has an impressive collection of design templates which you can use for your new t-shirt.
13. Fatpaint – free and fast
Have you ever wondered how to make your own shirt designs fast and free? Fatpaint is the answer to your problem. Fatpaint is free software that allows you to create amazing tee shirt designs for free. But, aren’t there other similar free software available online? Yes, there are various similar applications and software available. But Fatpaint stands apart from the crowd because it doesn’t require you to download and install it! All you need is Adobe Flash, and you are set!
There is a huge library of vector clips, fonts, and 3D templates. So, if you are looking for software that is both simple and effective, look no further than Fatpaint.
14. RushOrderTrees – lightning-fast t-shirt designs
Founded in 2002, RushOrderTees is a custom apparel brand based in Philadelphia. The RushHourTees’ software allows you to create unbelievable designs in a matter of a few minutes. The software also provides an array of customization options that can fully satisfy your t-shirt design needs. The step-by-step guide makes the entire design process easy for the users.
A dedicated in-house team reviews and corrects each design before finally sending them for print.
15. Design ‘N’ Buyؙ – for those who don’t know how to make their own shirt
As the name suggests, you simply design your t-shirt and buy them. The budget-friendly software comes with user manuals and helpful tutorials to guide you if you don’t know how to make your own shirt. The t-shirt design software has great features like spacing adjustments, clipart image borders, and color palette selection.
Additionally, the web-to-print software has a large selection of t-shirt design templates which you can easily use.
16. Autodesk Sketchbook – designer’s delight
Designing a t-shirt has never been easy! With Autodesk Sketchbook, you can create awesome designs on the go. The t-shirt design app is considered to be one of the best drawing applications, which provides users a template-free design experience.
The app has all the necessary tools required for designing, such as rulers and grids. The app also supports Apple pencil.
Additionally, the app includes tools like markers, pencils, ink, and over 190 paintbrushes. The app is truly a t-shirt designer’s friend.
Whether you are a professional designer or a beginner, or a business owner, InkXE has something for everyone. This web-to-print software allows you to create great t-shirt designs with the help of masks, filters, and color palettes. The software also supports various printing methods such as DTG, heat print, and sublimation.
Apart from the above, the software is equipped to run tests and correct the resolution of an image automatically.
18. Design a Shirt
Design a Shirt is a free t-shirt design maker loaded with various features to make things easier for you. The software is built into a website allowing you to design a t-shirt and order the same.
The most attractive feature of this free software is the Idea Gallery. The Idea Gallery provides design templates to get you started.
While some may complain of the interface being cluttered, it is well-equipped to give you good control over your images.
19. Customily—for those who want to start their own t-shirt design business
The t-shirt design software is known for its easy-to-use features. If you are looking to start your own t-shirt designing and printing business, Customily can be a great option.
Marketing your product can be easy because the software seamlessly integrates into various e-commerce platforms such as Shopify and Bigcommerce. So, if you are looking to create great designs along with marketing them, Customily is the software to have.
This t-shirt design app is available for both Android and iOS users and is popular for its user-friendly interface. The app offers tips and suggestions to new users and provides a huge library of templates for creating great designs.
Apart from customization features like styles, colors, and fonts, the app allows you to select stock pictures from Unsplash to create your own t-shirt designs. oShirt is the best option if you like designing your t-shirt using your mobile phone.
Designing t-shirts has become a child’s play with phone apps, software, and various online platforms. Whether you want to start your own business or just design a t-shirt, this list can guide you with the best in the industry.
Head of Design at DesignBro and is responsible for UI/UX Design, managing the global designer community, and ensuring quality levels of both designers and designs remain high.