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12 Free Photo-editing Tools to use for T-shirt Designs 

Making your T-shirt design unique is essential for appealing to your potential customers. You want it to be eye-catching and communicate the style of your brand. So, choosing the best photo-editing software is paramount – especially if you can find free photo-editing tools that really work for you!

There are so many options to look for like colour editing, filters, red eye reduction and art modes, you might not settle on just one phot-editing tool but use different ones to create unique effects.

To save you the time researching the options, I’ve compiled a list of the Free Photo-Editing Tools that you can browse through so you can spend your valuable time concentrating on designing!

1. Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator is not free to use but does have a free trial period which is worth using. Illustrator has plenty of features that will increase the productivity of your design time.  The latest release has enhanced tools and features making it more effective than earlier versions. If you decide to continue using the software after the free trial period, keep in mind that you will be paying a monthly fee.

2. Art Explosion T-Shirt Factory Deluxe

Free to use and easy to download, Art Explosion T-Shirt Factory Deluxe will give you the freedom to create your own, unique, t-shirt designs. With tools to edit photos, draw your own images and to add text, you can explode your creativity!

Download tip: The page has a lot of adverts, hover your mouse over the download button to make sure you get the right software. 

3. Green Hat World Free T-shirt Design Software

If you’re looking to create a simple T-shirt design, this basic software from Green Hat is great. It’s free to download, but again there are a lot of adverts on the page so be careful to download the right software. With this T-shirt design software, you’ll be able to add Clipart, or your own, images, edit the colour and add text.

4. Picture Solutions Free T-shirt Design Software

Similar to the software available from Green Hat World, this is a free-to-download, basic software that will allow you to add images, either your own or from clip art, insert text and edit colours. Whether you’re a beginner or a professional this Free T-shirt Design Software will be easy to use due to its simple tools and user-friendly interface.

5. Graphic Design Shop

Set your creativity free with this free software from Graphic Design Shop. A versatile software that can be used to design images for a range of items in addition to T-shirts, it gives you a range of tools that you can use to draw, add photos and text, create layers and edit.

Compatibility: A possible drawback to this software is that it is only compatible with Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8.

6. Avery Printing Software

Available to download free for Microsoft Office and Apple Mac, Avery Printing Software is an advanced photo editing tool with specific software for designing T-shirts.

7. Fat Paint Graphic Design Software

On the more complicated side of software, if you’re looking for the freedom to create your own design from scratch, this is worth a look. With tools that allow you to manipulate page layout, create logos, work with 3D text and includes vector image editing, your T-shirt design can be completely creative. It may take some time to get to grips with all the functionalities of this software but there are tutorial videos that you can watch so as long as you have the time to spare, it shouldn’t be a problem.

8. Paint.net

Free to download but only compatible with PCs that run Windows, Paint.net image and photo editing software has plenty of tools to get your T-shirt designing underway. The interface is user-friendly so you’ll master it quickly. A definite plus is the unlimited “undo” functionality, erasing the stress of making errors. The popularity of this software means you’ll become part of a growing online community – support, forums and tutorials will be at your fingertips!

9. Gimp

Gimp is a free image editor that is cross-platform. It is compatible with GNU/Linux, OS X, Windows and other operating systems. The recent release this month fixed some glitches resulting in a smoother interface and better quality switching between desktop and tablet. A fantastic piece of software, Gimp has tools to allow you to edit photos and to create mind-blowing artwork and graphics.

10. VCW Vicman’s photo editor

Containing a number of effects and filters, VCW Vicman’s photo editor also features all the basic functions you would expect such as cropping, resizing and rotating. You’ll be able to combine functions in one image, and use tools like automatic colour correction and colour swapping to truly individualise your images.

11. Photoscape

A great piece of software for fixing and enhancing your photos, Photoscape features easy-to-use functionality which allows you to manipulate your photos. Enabling you to combine multiple photos, split single photos, and merge photos to create a whole new image, it has all the basic tools you’ll need.

Compatibility: For Windows 10 and Mac users, you’ll need to download Photoscape X

12. Google Nik Collection

A powerful collection of photo editing tools available for free from Google. Filters and tools allow you to manipulate colour, texture, tone and to sharpen images. The plugins are also compatible with other software so even if the ongoing support and software updates aren’t reliable, you’ll be able to use these editing tools with other software like Photoshop for free.

So what are you waiting for? Download your free photo editing software and get started on your create T-shirt designs!

Remember to let us know in the comments if you particularly like one of the photo editing software on the list or if you’ve got a favourite that isn’t mentioned.

Alternatively, if you like to creating your own freestyle designs without photos, why not try one of these graphic design tools to create your individual t-shirt design?

Draw SVG

Inkscape

Art Weaver

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