TOP 5 Free Design Apps For Creating T-Shirt Designs

Hey there it’s Wes from Printful. In this video we’ll look at
some of the most popular free Adobe graphic design
software alternatives that you can use to create your print files or any other promotional
materials for your online store. You’ve probably heard about
Photoshop and Illustrator, they’ve been the industry leading image editors for about 30 years or so. They’re easy to use, offer a lot of features
and are constantly updated. However, in order to enjoy
the limitless capabilities of those programs you need to subscribe to their
paid monthly service, Creative Cloud. Together with our graphics team we’ve found the best free alternatives to these image editors. Each of these programs
can perform basic tasks like image editing, and creating simple designs
for your products and social media, however in terms of structure and additional features some may be more useful to you than others. Before we begin, make sure
to subscribe to our YouTube channel and most importantly tap on the little bell icon to always get notified about our latest videos. Let’s get started. First up we have Photopea. It’s a free, browser based program
that is a Photoshop clone. It can be downloaded and it runs perfectly
on Windows and Mac platforms. This way you don’t always have to rely on the stability of your internet connection and browser. Photopea can be used to edit photos
and create designs for various Printful products, moreover, its interface and tools
resemble Photoshop and are quite intuitive. The keyboard shortcuts for the tools
are the same as well. If you’ve had any experience with Photoshop in the past, working in Photopea should be fairly simple. Its pre-sized templates make it really
easy to create graphics for social media. Among the few cons
that our graphics team noticed, there is a small delay in the brush tool, and its ruler tool only measures in pixels, which might need some getting used to if you’ve been using different
measurement units in other applications. Also, Photopea doesn’t include
some of the common font families like Arial, Verdana, and Georgia. The next program that we have on our list is GIMP. This is a free and open-source raster graphics editor. It runs on Windows, Linux and Mac. As a Photoshop alternative this program
can complete the same tasks and if you’re tech savvy you can benefit
from the ability to change its source code. It’s possible to take GIMP’s
functionality one step further by installing the plugins
created by its vast community or creating them yourself. Don’t install a plugin unless
it comes from a trusted source. At first glance GIMP’s user interface
can seem a bit intimidating with the tools, shortcuts and workflow being completely different
from the standard set by Adobe. For example, if you need to remove
the background from your design you need to highlight it with the FUZZY SELECT TOOL, then add an Alpha Channel and only then you`ll be able to remove it. Also, the Fuzzy Select Tool needs some extra tinkering. If you leave the default settings, this may result in a white outline around your image after the background has been removed. If you prefer drawing your designs, note that the brush tool
might not work smoothly sometimes. Next up we have Krita. It’s a free open-source image editing software with its user demographic consisting
mainly of digital painters and illustrators. It’s available for Windows, Mac and Linux. Krita is a good raster graphics program
that’s packed with tons of features. You can create your own custom designs, draw artwork with its highly
customizable brush tool, edit photos and more. It stands out from our list as the only
free raster graphics program suited for creating seamless all-over print patterns, thanks to the Wrap Around Mode. This is how it works. Your main layer is duplicated, merged together and reflects all the changes made to the master layer. This is really convenient if you`re
creating pattern illustrations relevant to the latest design trends. Krita is full of options so it could be
a bit confusing and difficult to start with, but when you find the tools that you need,
you’ll be able to create a great design. If you’re looking for a program
designed specifically for vector editing, then Inkscape is for you. Vector graphics are especially useful when you’re creating designs meant
for printing on several different types of products. Since it’s a vector graphic, the print file won’t lose quality when it gets exported in different sizes, and Inkscape allows you to set a custom DPI for it. DPI stands for dots per inch, it’s the number of dots in a printed inch. The more dots the higher the quality of the print, meaning it’ll have more sharpness and detail. With Inkscape, you can create
complex text graphic designs by choosing any font styles available on your computer and adding various effects
and adjustments to the lettering. The Measurement tool can be
especially useful in such case, as it gives you precise value of the distance
between the elements of your design. But, similar to the programs listed,
it has a learning curve and takes some time to get used to, especially if you’re transitioning from another software. Canva might not be the most obvious choice
for Photoshop alternatives, yet it’s a useful platform for any designer. It’s available both on iOS and Android and can be used in an online browser as well. Their free toolkit is quite extensive, however, you`re able to get the most out of this app only by subscribing to Canva’s paid plans. Such a simple feature as downloading a design with a transparent background is not available in the free version. This application is perfect for creating
designs for poster and canvas printing, as well as designing promotional
material for your online store and takes zero effort in understanding how it works. Before creating your designs in Canva make sure you understand
the limitations of their free stock, to ensure that the design you’ve created can be used for printing and commercial purposes. Before you download
any of the programs that we mentioned, make sure to check out our Printful mockup generator. You can access it directly on our website. We offer many free sample designs and objects, which you can use to create high-quality
mockups and print files for your online store. Be sure to reference our print file guidelines
when creating a design for a product. You want to make sure you are creating a file
that will get you the best quality print. On which platform do you create your designs,
desktop or mobile? I’d love to know all about it in the comments below.

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41 thoughts on “TOP 5 Free Design Apps For Creating T-Shirt Designs

  1. Superb info! Thanks! 😘 For your information some people use iPads for work with your service only.
    For example I use: Pixelmator and Artstudio Pro (for raster) , Graphic (for vector), Canva, and Safari browser (for use your mock-up generator and Shopify) That’s all work on my old iPad mini 2 (and even on iPhone we can use this stuff)
    This is minimalistic version for creative designers.

    “Printful always in my pocket” 😃😂

  2. Affinity Designer is just as good, on some parts better, than Adobe Illustrator and way cheaper (one time payment instead of subscription).

  3. I use Gimp on my Chromebook. I turn on Linux to run on it first.
    And you can change the keyboard short cuts to what ever you want. So you can change it to be the same as Photo Shop.

  4. You guys do a great job, thanks for putting this list together and sharing the highlights. I use an old desktop version of PS Elements which lacks some of functions I need so I'm looking for alternatives. Also, thank you for mentioning the offline/online options because as someone living remotely and relying on a data plan for wifi, the ability to work offline is critical! Very pleased with Printful!

  5. I love Canva for doing my social media stuff. I have macs but use my iPad Pro all day. Canva is more fully featured on the web browser version for Mac. The iOS safari version is ok too but there are some element resizing limits. For designing in vector I love Affinity Designer. For doing raster art I use Procreate. I have a bunch of others but those are my main players. I rarely use my Adobe suite anymore. It’s a great time to be a designer. The equipment and software has been broadly democratized and thanks to Printful, we can run smaller independent online stores. You guys are shaking up the game and I’m loving it.

  6. 📍Table of Contents:

    0:53 – Photopea
    1:50 – GIMP
    2:47 – Krita
    3:35 – Inkscape
    4:28 – Canva
    5:08 – 🔥Bonus Tool🔥

  7. I tried using both the free and paid versions of Canva. Every single design I worked on had a dpi that was too low for printful. I couldn't find any help at all and no way to contact someone at Canva to find out why or if I was doing something wrong.

  8. There are no mobile apps here. Take oShirt for example has all the features of Canva, many that are hard to do in Photoshop and full of fonts, shapes, emojis, photos etc. Best part is you can design on an actual t-shirt not on a rectangle!

  9. Where i can find the info about limitation for Canva FREE icons to insure they can be used for printing and commercial purposes? I tried contacting them, but they never replied. So currently i am doing my T-shirt design with their free icons but still want to make sure that i do everything legal and correctly.
    Please help.

    Thank you so much for this very useful and important information on the video.

  10. Thanks for the great video that helps a lot. However, I'm a bit confused about fonts licensing. Adobe's subscription allows to use its fonts for printing. What about the fonts included in those apps? Are they free to be used for commercial print?

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