7 Best T-Shirt Design Software 2024 (#1 Tee Design App)

by Chris Von Wilpert, BBusMan • Last updated November 23, 2023

Expert Verified by Leandro Langeani, BBA

Disclosure: We test and review software products based on an independent, multi-step rating methodology. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Read full disclosure and rating methodology.

Today there are 148 different t-shirt design software. We spent 79 hours comparing the top 50 to find the seven best you can use to design t-shirts.

What is the Best T-Shirt Design Software?

  1. Printify — best of the best
  2. Fotor — best for non-designers
  3. Canva — best design templates
  4. Printful — best for ecommerce store owners
  5. Adobe Illustrator — best for professional graphic design
  6. Placeit — best for mockups
  7. Apliiq — best for custom apparel

Our Verdict — Best Of The Best

Price: Starts at $29/month

Printify is a user-friendly t-shirt design and drop-shipping solution for creators and businesses. We think it’s the best because of its extensive design library, speedy order fulfillment, and easy-to-use interface.

The Best Part:

  • Seamless ecommerce integration. Printify seamlessly connects with popular eCommerce platforms such as Shopify, WooCommerce, and Etsy, making selling your custom designs a breeze.

The Worst Part:

  • It’s not the cheapest. Printify’s catalog isn’t expensive, by any means, but it isn’t the cheapest one as well. At least you know the quality is always there.

Get it if you want an all-in-one solution to design, produce, and sell custom t-shirts that’ll keep customers coming back for more.

I recommend you try the free plan first, then upgrade to the Premium plan for $29/month.

(free plan)

Best For

Printify is best for creative entrepreneurs who want a user-friendly platform to help them create standout t-shirt designs they can sell, print, and deliver — without ever touching a single t-shirt.

Top Features

  • Run free. Add text, stock images, and even your own artwork to your t-shirt designs with Printify's user-friendly design editor.

  • Brand it up. Create custom neck labels for your t-shirts to showcase your logo and create your brand identity.

  • Keep it tidy. Manage your t-shirt designs and orders with Printify's easy-to-use dashboard.

  • See what it’d like in real life. Use Printify's 3D mockup generator to see your designs come to life on a range of t-shirt designs and sizes.

  • Skip the inventory stress. Printify's print-on-demand model ensures you never have to pay for stock. They’ll only print and ship after you sell.

Pricing

Printify offers three pricing plans:

  • Free: Free forever, for beginners who want an easy-to-use platform to create and integrate custom t-shirt designs with popular eCommerce platforms.
  • Premium: $29/month for creative entrepreneurs and businesses who want a 20% discount on all product costs.
  • Enterprise: Custom pricing, for those who have 10,000+ orders per day and want unlimited access to Printify’s personalized support and features like API integration and dedicated account management.

Annual plans provide a 14% discount.

Try Printify today with the free plan.

Our Verdict — Best For Non-Designers

Price: Starts at $8.99/month

Fotor is a user-friendly, feature-packed t-shirt design software. We think it’s the best for non-designers because of its intuitive interface, powerful editing tools, and extensive template library.

The Best Part:

  • Effortless creation. Fotor boasts a huge collection of easy-to-use tools, design elements, and t-shirt templates that allow you to quickly come up with designs for your products.

The Worst Part:

  • It may be a bit simple for some. Fotor's web-based nature means it might lack the advanced features available on pro-grade design software.

Get it if you want a user-friendly app that allows you to transform your creative ideas into stunning t-shirt designs, even as a complete beginner.

I recommend you get started with the free plan, then upgrade to the Fotor Pro plan for $39.96/year.

(free plan)

Best For

Fotor is best for creative individuals and business owners who want a feature-rich platform for designing custom t-shirts that even a 7 year old could use.

Top Features

  • Find your muse. Explore Fotor's extensive template library to find the ideal kickoff for your t-shirt designs.

  • AI-powered patterns. Let Fotor's AI Pattern Generator work its magic, creating one-of-a-kind, seamless patterns for you.

  • Stay on trend with stickers. Add fun and trendy stickers to your t-shirt designs to make them stand out.

  • Mix and match fonts. Select from Fotor’s 523 stylish fonts to create eye-catching text elements in your tees.

  • Keep it neat. Manage your projects efficiently with Fotor's handy folder organization feature.

Pricing

Fotor offers three pricing plans:

  • Fotor Basic: Free forever, for beginners who want to get their feet wet in t-shirt design.
  • Fotor Pro: $8.99/month for creative individuals and business owners who want access to premium design assets, AI-powered t-shirt design features, and up to 2 GB of cloud storage.
  • Fotor Pro+: $19.99/month for businesses that want everything in the Fotor Pro plan, plus the option to use custom text fonts, with up to 10 GB of cloud storage.

Annual plans provide a 62% discount.

Try Fotor today with the free plan.

Our Verdict — Best Design Templates

Price: Starts at $12.99/month

Canva is an all-in-one design platform that can simplify the t-shirt design process. We think it offers the best design templates because of its extensive template library, wide range of customization options, and user-friendly interface.

The Best Part:

  • It’s packed with design templates. Canva offers a massive library of professionally designed templates specifically made for creating standout t-shirt designs.

The Worst Part:

  • Limited capability. Canva may feel restricting if you have experience with Photoshop, Corel Draw, and the likes.

Get it if you want access to an endless supply of creative assets and templates for crafting a ton of different t-shirt designs.

I recommend you get started with the free plan, then get the Canva Pro plan for $12.99/month.

(free plan)

Best For

Canva is best for individuals and business owners who want to create unique and stylish t-shirt designs quickly with a massive library of resources and DFY templates.

Top Features

  • Keep it on brand. Upload and save your brand's logo, colors, and fonts to create t-shirt designs that are true to your identity.

  • Get your sample tees quickly. Enjoy fast and free standard shipping for your pro t-shirt designs when you order samples to test out the final product.

  • Go green with style. Take pride in your t-shirt designs knowing they support sustainable production and partners with local businesses.

  • See it before your eyes. Get a sneak peek of how your design will look on a t-shirt with Canva's outstanding mockup tool.

  • Invite your team. Invite team members or friends to work together on your t-shirt designs in real-time using Canva's seamless collaboration feature.

Pricing

Canva offers three pricing plans:

  • Canva Free: Free forever, for creatives who want an easy-to-use software to design t-shirts using over 250,000 free templates, 1+ million free photos and graphics, and 5 GB of cloud storage.
  • Canva Pro: $12.99/month for creative individuals and businesses that want a user-friendly t-shirt design software with unlimited access to premium templates, over 100 million premium stock media, and up to 1 TB of free cloud storage.
  • Canva for Teams: $14.99/month for teams of all sizes who want everything in the Canva Pro plan, plus collaboration features for creating t-shirt designs, such as approval workflows, real-time comments, and task management features.

Annual plans provide a 16% discount.

Try Canva today with the free plan.

Our Top Three Picks

Here’s a quick summary of our top three picks:

  1. Printify — best of the best
  2. Fotor — best for non-designers
  3. Canva — best design templates

Here’s a quick comparison of our top seven picks:

Tool

Entry Offer

Pricing

Printify

Free plan

Starts at $29/mo

Fotor

Free plan

Starts at $8.99/mo

Canva

Free plan

Starts at $12.99/mo

Printful

Free plan

Starts at $11.50

Adobe Illustrator

7-day free trial

Starts at $31.49/mo

Placeit

None

Starts at $14.95/mo

Apliiq

Free plan

Custom

Here are the top 50 best t-shirt design software we considered in this review:

  1. Printify
  2. Fotor
  3. Canva
  4. Printful
  5. Adobe Illustrator
  6. Placeit 
  7. Apliiq
  8. Designhill T-Shirt Maker
  9. Threadless 
  10. CorelDRAW
  11. Inkscape
  12. GraffixPro Studio
  13. Rush Order Tees
  14. DesignAShirt
  15. T-Shirt Factory Deluxe
  16. Snaptee
  17. Sonicshack T Shirt Designer
  18. Tee Designer Master
  19. CustomInk
  20. Teespring 
  21. Crello
  22. ShirtMonkey
  23. Piktochart
  24. Bonfire
  25. Zazzle
  26. UberPrints
  27. SunFrog
  28. VistaPrint
  29. oShirt
  30. ShirtApp
  31. T-Shirt Maker by Designhill
  32. WhoopTee
  33. Personalized Tees
  34. BlueCotton
  35. Desygner
  36. Streetshirts
  37. PicsArt
  38. Fotor T-Shirt Designer
  39. Snappa
  40. Venngage
  41. Redbubble
  42. TeeChip
  43. Society6
  44. Merch by Amazon
  45. Shopify with Print-on-Demand apps
  46. Customized Girl
  47. TeePublic
  48. T-pop
  49. PrintShop by Designhill
  50. GearLaunch

What programs are used to design t-shirts?

A wide range of programs is used to design t-shirts, varying from simple design tools to advanced graphic design software.

Printify is a popular choice for many because it offers a wide range of tools and features that cater to a broad spectrum of designers. From the complete beginner to professional designers, it enables the creation of high-quality designs. Furthermore, it integrates with various eCommerce platforms for seamless operations, which is particularly advantageous for t-shirt printing businesses.

Fotor is also a commonly utilized program, celebrated for its intuitive photo editing abilities. Its attractive range of features, such as AI-powered patterns and a huge library of templates, allows designers to create awesome designs. The photo editor also offers advanced image editing features, including a One-Click Image Correction tool, that enhances the design process.

Canva renowned for its library of design templates, is another excellent tool that facilitates the creation of t-shirt designs. It offers simple designs to complex graphics that are editable with a variety of tools and a range of fonts.

Adobe Illustrator is the best for professional graphic design. It supports vector graphics, a perfect design type for t-shirts due to their scalability without losing quality. However, it has a steep learning curve compared to other programs.

Moreover, some designers prefer open-source graphics editing software such as GIMP as a viable, affordable alternative to paid professional software.

What type of file is best for t-shirt design?

The best file types for t-shirt design are vector files, such as SVG files. Vector graphics are ideal for t-shirt designs as they can be scaled up or down without losing any quality. They also provide a vast range of color options, enabling designers to create designs with complex color schemes.

In contrast, raster image formats, like JPEGs and PNGs, are based on pixels and can lose quality when resized. They are more suitable for photo-like images with a large variety of colors and gradients.

Which printing technology is best for t-shirts?

Different printing techniques can be used depending on the design complexity, color choices, and production volume. Screen printing is often favored for high-volume orders due to its durability and color vibrancy. It works best for designs with fewer colors.

Direct-to-garment (DTG) printing is another method often used for designs that require a wide variety of colors or have high detail. DTG printing works like a regular printer, depositing ink onto the fabric, allowing for color gradients and photographic detail.

Another popular method is heat transfer printing, which is ideal for small orders or personalized t-shirts. However, it may lack durability over time compared to other methods.

Can I use Canva to design t-shirts?

Yes, Canva is an excellent tool for designing t-shirts. It has a huge variety of t-shirt design templates, clip art images, and a wide range of fonts. With its intuitive user interface and extensive library of templates, Canva allows even a complete beginner to create beautiful and professional-looking t-shirt designs. It also supports collaboration tools for team projects. However, note that Canva works best for simpler designs and may not provide the level of control over design elements as a professional software like Adobe Illustrator does.

Is it better to design t-shirts in Photoshop or Illustrator?

The choice between Photoshop and Illustrator depends on your design needs. Photoshop is a raster-based program, best for creating complex designs that include bitmap images or high-resolution images. It has powerful photo editing capabilities, creative image editing options, and a variety of photo effects. However, resizing a raster image from Photoshop can lead to quality loss.

On the other hand, Illustrator is a vector-based program, ideal for designs that require resizing, such as logos or text-based designs. Illustrator's vector files maintain quality regardless of how much they're scaled.

For t-shirt design, Illustrator is usually the preferred choice due to its vector capabilities and range of design options. It's especially useful if you plan on reusing your design at different sizes (on a business card, a poster, a t-shirt, etc.). However, Photoshop might be a better choice for designs with many color gradations or photo elements.

The Bottom Line

To recap, here are the best t-shirt design software to try this year:

  1. Printify — best of the best
  2. Fotor — best for non-designers
  3. Canva — best design templates
  4. Printful — best for ecommerce store owners
  5. Adobe Illustrator — best for professional graphic design
  6. Placeit — best for mockups
  7. Apliiq — best for custom appare

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