If you’re serious about designing t shirts, whether it be for your own clothing line or for clients, you need to know at least a little bit about t shirt design software. Microsoft Paint isn’t going to cut it, and screen printers will laugh in your face if you deliver a file to them that is complete garbage. That’s why these programs exist, they make your designs print ready so that they can be turned into an actual product. But there are a few different programs, and things can get confusing, so I’m here to help. Here are the different types of t shirt design software and what they are best used for.
Adobe Illustrator – Illustrator isn’t only for t shirts, like many of the programs here, it’s used across the design globe for many different purposes. It can create clean, crisp, ready to print graphics that can be re-sized to any dimensions without becoming blurry or otherwise distorted. If you ever wondered how designers handle graphics for huge things like billboards, this is how. These types of graphics are called vectors.
If your t shirt artwork is made up of solid best dad hats shapes and not too many gradients or shading, then this t shirt design software might be best for you. It even has an auto-trace feature that can take your scanned artwork and turn it digital for you. It might require some cleaning up but it will do a lot of the work for you.
Adobe Photoshop – Everyone knows what Photoshop is, but hardly anyone realizes it’s potential. Photoshop is capable of so many things that no one person can use it fully, it’s not just a photo editing software. It’s a bitmap software. It’s great for turning paintings or illustrations into digital artworks and is hardy enough to handle endless numbers of colors. However, you are limited by size. The size that your artwork is when you start is the size that it needs to stay. It cannot be enlarged without becoming blurry, but it can be reduced without compromising quality.
If you work with a lot of colors, shading, or gradients. Photoshop is probably best for you. It doesn’t have an auto-trace feature but it does have tons of other great tools at your disposal. I would suggest using YouTube and searching for tutorials, there are hundreds of them and they are honestly one of the easiest ways to learn the ropes.
So there you have it. Those are the two main types of t shirt design software. There are other programs of similar types, but they do the same tasks so it doesn’t matter which one you choose, as long as it’s the type of software you need, either vector (like Illustrator) or bitmap (like Photoshop). Good luck and have fun designing those t shirts!