Best Design Software For T shirts
Do you want to find a good software program that can help you design tshirts? Isn’t it nice now that in this day and age, not having access to expensive equipment is no longer a barrier to creating your own custom line of tshirts (or other products too) what with options like dropshipping! Now if you have some skills using various graphic software programs all you really need is the program itself to get started – but which one?
Now there are a number of other excellent graphic software programs that are ideal for designing tshirts. Some are free and others are premium (read: involve fees)
Free Design Software Programs For Tshirts
Following are a few open source programs that can help you get started if you’ve got a budget to consider or if you’re not doing exceptionally elaborate designs. They pretty much have all that you need if you’re just in need of text and simple looking vector art (which is what comprises all my own designs too)
This platform looks pretty cool; and there are a lot of awesome things you can do to make the most of your experience. One specialty on FatPaint is that you can simply type in a line of text such as a name or special word and give it a 3D effect. You have a wide range of fonts and clip art images to select form to design to your heart’s content.
This is a cloud-based app, but when you land on -site you may be confused at first when you see a “download” button but I believe that is related to an advertisement – being a free site the ads help to support the upkeep costs. As for me, I hate the distraction of ads (especially the ones that dance around) while I’m trying to work but that’s just me:)
I believe there is a small subscription fee if you enjoy the site you can become a Pro subscriber and an ad-free experience.
There are a lot of templates to choose from too -they include baseball caps, keychains, tote bags, coffee mugs and I even saw doggie tshirts too which sounds fun 🙂 So if you’re looking to create a wide range of custom products this may be the place for you.
Pixlr is another great program that enjoys a lot of popularity and it’s one of my top 5 image design programs for those of you looking to hone your skills. Pixlr has a mobile app option too so you may very well be able to design a tee on the go! If you’d like to have all the features of Photoshop but without the cost Pixlr is a great place to start.
The editing process would be very similar to what I’m doing above; you will have a lot of the same tools in the interface and the ability to modify the design in the Layer palette and later on turn off or delete the template altogether (if you’re using a similar one with a print-on-demand service)
Sonic Shack Design Studio
This is a program you can download for your own use. It is both Windows and Mac compatible (You need to be sure you have Adobe Air and at least the 6.0.65 version of Flash Player to be able to work with the program. ) Adobe Air is strictly a cross-operating platform that supports rich internet applications -I have it and it performs just fine.
Best Premium Design Software For Tshirts
The following have a number of cool features that may justify the price tag. They would definitely be recommended if you are serious about your tshirt or apparel endeavors!
Tshirt Factory Deluxe
This program, developed by Art Explosion, includes a downloadable bundle of items: transfer paper, an actual tshirt, and a collection of files on a CD program -obviously you can’t download items like that so I think it is the bonus items that are included along with the software. You may have to get in touch with the developer as I didn’t see anywhere you could purchase the bundle.
Even though the screenshots had an early-2000s look to them, I believe this software is fully up to date – just make sure to get version 188.8.131.52. At your hand are clip art images, fonts, a digital photo editor so if you wanted to break out the family photos for use you can.
(Let me know in the Comments section if you can get ahold of the developer I believe the bundle I described above is just under $30)
Design N’ Buy
This is a very robust program and I definitely would pass it along to those who are beyond the “hobby” stage. There are many many features and full integration with other platforms including that of e-commerce. The design options include mobile responsive, supporting many file formats. There is a print quality check tool that lets you look at your mockup at a 360 degree angle and even submit it to other people in your immediate customer base as well. The monthly fee looks hefty so be sure you are serious and ready to put both feet it!
Yes, don’t forget that Photoshop is excellent for your tshirt designs and mockups! First off, I do all my Etsy store’s tshirt designs using Photoshop Elements. Yep, it’s the “lite” version of the flagship program but it does everything I need for this operation. It came as part of the bundle that came with my drawing tablet and I enjoy its use fully. I mainly use the Text and color tools and various others in the Text tool to manipulate the design a little. I know that a picture speaks a thousand words so I am including a screengrab for you to see what it looks like overall.
The only other thing I need is the template I receive from the drop-shipping company I use, Printful. These templates make it a breeze to keep my design within the correct perimeters so the resulting print job will be top notch. When I have my design the way I want it, I just “turn off” the template in the Layer palette, bada bing.
Corel Draw is my favorite vector art software and if you’re looking to do more elaborate designs you will certainly get a lot of use with Corel. Personally I don’t use it for my designs as I haven’t gotten into doing elaborate work yet…I’m testing the waters right now with mostly text and simple clip art for now since a lot of them sell well.
Check out the latest edition of Corel Draw right here!
You can save your final design as a png file so you will have the transparency and the final image can be applied to the tshirt or whatever piece of clothing you are wanting to have printed on.
Well, that’s my wrap-up…Now you! Do you know of any other tshirt design programs that could be added to the list? How was your experience with them? Your input is valued 🙂