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Best Tools to Create T-shirt Designs

Designing your own t-shirt is challenging, but you can simplify the process with the right tools. You can choose from plenty of paid and free t-shirt design software to start designing immediately. 

You can either upload your images or choose from thousands of templates available on the design tools. Interestingly, the tools let you change the color scheme and add text to make your t-shirts look outstanding. 

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We have recommended some t-shirt design tools in this post. Some are easier to work with, while others are more advanced. 

Scroll down to check your options. 

Paid T-shirt Design Software

#1 Adobe Illustrator 

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Adobe Illustrator is the first big gun from Adobe. It’s an industry-standard vector graphics software for high-end commercial products, branded logos, and infographics. 

Professional designers use this full image editing software because it stands out in many ways. For example, it helps create better patterns, manipulate complex shapes, measure fine details, and finalize high-resolution images. 

What’s more? Well, this vector graphics software lets you shape, size, and manipulate your designs without ruining the quality. In addition, Adobe Illustrator lets you export your designs in an image file, so that you can use it for any printing method. 

As Adobe Illustrator is a professional t-shirt design software, you might find it challenging to learn how it works. But there are many resources and tutorials to learn how to create vectors for designing cool t-shirts. 

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If you are willing to pay for a versatile Adobe editing tool that can be used in different projects, Adobe Photoshop should be your pick. But if you want to become a professional, Adobe Illustrator is the better option. 


  • It’s an extraordinary vector editing t-shirt design software with useful features and tools.

  • It helps create designs, shapes, and patterns with high print detail.

  • Tutorials available from minor issues fixes to full-scale decreation.


  • Learning how to use Adobe Illustrator can take time. 

  • It has a high subscription cost. 

  • No previously available t-shirt designs, images, or assets. 

  • You need a capable hardware setup to use the tool without any hassle.

#2 Adobe Photoshop

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Another widely used professional t-shirt design software from the house of Adobe is Photoshop. Before you use it, remember that this tool comes with a steep learning curve. Plus, it’s an expensive tool. 

Adobe Photoshop offers a toolkit for customization, including brush art, blending, layering, and creating image effects. 

You need to practice a lot to make the best use of Adobe Photoshop. For this, you can apply to paid courses focusing on in-depth techniques. 

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Compared to other Adobe software, Photoshop offers better design versatility. But it does not seem to work with vector graphics, which causes limitations in printing. 

While you can create DTG printing (direct-to-garment), you cannot do screen printing and embroidery. If you purchase Adobe Creative Cloud Service, you can get a discount on Adobe’s full package, including Lightroom and Illustrator. 


  • It offers useful plugins and toolkits for large brush art, image editing, and layering. 

  • It’s a trusted t-shirt design software with several high-quality tutorials.

  • It lets you create any pixel artwork. 


  • You need more time to master this t-shirt design software. 

  • It has a high recurring subscription cost.

  • No previously available t-shirt designs, images, or assets. 

  • It does not work on vector graphics and has limited printing options. 

#3 CoreIDRAW

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CoreIDRAW is a professional t-shirt design software offering a great mix of variety. It works well as a vector graphics design tool. Also, it has flexibility for other format types. 

Compared to other tools, it is more beginner-friendly and prioritizes an easy-to-learn environment. But you will have to pay a high amount to access these benefits. 

Depending on the extent of your use, you can choose from the CoreIDRAW Essentials to the full CoreIDRAW Graphics Suite package for yourself. CoreIDRAW is an amazing visual marketing software offering images, unique art assets, and typefaces. 


  • This t-shirt design software is great for creating detailed mockups. 

  • You can easily learn how to use the tool through tutorials and tips. 

  • You get a library of premium design assets and images. 

  • You get several editing tools for any product type. 


  • The software has a high purchase and subscription cost. 

  • File export and import quality are not the best. 

#4 GraffixPro Studio

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GraffixPro Studio is a paid t-shirt design software offering key features to create personalized t-shirts for online retail. It has a library of unique fonts, images, and t-shirt design templates. 

This software is built to streamline creating personalized t-shirts. You can use its additional features like a quote generator, barcoding, and inventory management to maximize your profits. 

Get your hands on GraffixPro to manage t-shirt design without any hassle. The software lets you manipulate details and edit your art so you can sell t-shirts without much effort. 


  • You can use this tool to create personalized designs on a business level. 

  • It helps you quickly create t-shirt designs. 

  • It has a simple-to-use interface. 


  • It has a high purchase cost. 

  • It offers limited design assets and less design control compared to other software. 

#5 PlaceIt

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If you want an in-browser t-shirt design tool, PlaceIt should be your choice. This software has a large stock of t-shirt designs and a vast library of quality vector art clips. It also has an easy-to-use interface and quick setup. 

So, if you have an impressive t-shirt design and an awesome t-shirt idea, use PlaceIt to create mockups without managing every pixel. All you need to do is mix around the given assets till you get a unique and workable design. 

Although the premium version of PlaceIt comes at a cost, it is very affordable. 


  • It’s an in-browser design tool. 

  • It has a comprehensive interface. 

  • It offers a vast library of premium design clip art. 

  • You can freely export designs anywhere. 


  • Some features are available only after paying the subscription fees. 

  • No mockup t-shirts are available to measure your design. 

  • It does not offer tools for design and image manipulation. 

Free T-shirt Design Software 


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An affordable alternative to Photoshop is GIMP. It’s a tech-savvy tool for a free t-shirt design that’s open source. This tool offers better quality services similar to Adobe services with tutorials, add-on features, and community support. 

With GIMP software, you can freely use third-party plugins. Also, most add-ons are free, but you might have to apply healthy scrutiny to find the best and most useful ones. 

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GIMP is not exactly built for t-shirt design, but it offers the best t-shirt design templates you can layer under your graphic. Overall, it’s a respectable tool, offering different features to change colors, draw designs, add text, and more. 


  • It’s free t-shirt design software with high-quality features. 

  • It is available on all OS devices, like Linux, Mac, and Windows. 

  • It offers open-source features. 


  • Initial learning of how to use GIMP can be a bit difficult. 

  • The third-party plugins that it supports are not as reliable as paid software. 

  • Working with large-scale images and layers can be difficult. 

  • It does not support vector graphics. 

#2 InkSpace

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Many professional designers use InkScape, a flexible general graphic design software. It is also a free high-end t-shirt design software alternative that you can use to create better designs. 

Unlike other free t-shirt design software, InkSpace is specially built for vector editing. This tool lets you export high-quality designs in multiple sizes. 

In addition, it offers stylized effects, measuring tools, and a huge range of dynamic font options. With InkSpace, you can export screen-printing-compatible format vector images. 


  • This t-shirt design software is suitable for different fabric printing methods. 

  • It offers comprehensive design tools. 

  • It can easily convert pixel bitmaps to vector images. 

  • It can be used with all major OS systems. 


  • It does not offer t-shirt templates and previews. 

#3 Krita 

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It’s a free, open-source platform that lets you place images and edit t-shirt designs. It’s a powerful digital painting-focused software that lets you apply your creative skills using customizable tools. 

The tools include effects controls, blending models, opacity, and brush control. You also get easy beginner tutorials with an interface for free and creative photo editing. In addition, this t-shirt design software lets you seamlessly create patterns with a wrap-around design. 


  • It’s a customizable creative design tool. 

  • It’s open-source and free software. 

  • It lets you tweak ready-made photos. 


  • It does not support large projects. 

  • It does not offer t-shirt templates and comprehensive typography tools.


Choosing the best t-shirt design tool is challenging because there are a plethora of tools that can do surprisingly well. But we have given a detailed list from which you can choose the best t-shirt design software. 

You can go through each design tool’s pros and cons to have a realistic approach when using it.