Have you ever considered turning your creative juices into cold, hard cash? Well, Canva might be your golden ticket. This super user-friendly tool lets you whip up some amazing designs.

But can Canva users use it for commercial purposes? The answer is yes, but you must follow some terms and conditions. Canva offers Free and Pro content to use in your designs for personal and commercial projects.

The first thing is to WATCH THIS VIDEO from Canva:

Let's talk about Canva License

What is a commercial use license? The commercial use license for Canva pertains to how users can utilize Canva's free and pro content for commercial purposes. Here's a summarized overview based on the search results:

  1. Content Types: Canva offers content that can be categorized as either Free or Pro.
  2. Usage: All free photos, music, and video files on Canva can be used for both commercial and non-commercial purposes. However, if a file contains an identifiable person, place, logo, or trademark, users should ensure they check the image source or contact Canva if unsure. Source
  3. Canva for Education: Users of Canva for Education can only use Pro content for educational, non-commercial purposes. If they wish to create designs for commercial purposes, they would need a different license. Source
  4. Selling Designs: Generally, Canva's Content License Agreement (CLA) allows both Free and Pro users to sell their designs on printed merchandise, such as posters, mugs, and tote bags. Source
  5. Copyright: All content on Canva is protected by United States and international copyright laws. Canva and its contributors reserve all rights that aren't explicitly granted to users. Source

Think of it as the rulebook for what you can and can't do with Canva designs. Don't worry; it's not as complicated as it sounds, and I will try to break it down for you. Ready to get the lowdown?

Licenses for Free Content

Wondering about the license for Free Content? Here's how to find out:

Hover over the content and click the info (i) button. The License- Free for Canva Pro
  1. Hover over the content and click the info (i) button.
  2. If it's from Pixabay, look at the Pixabay License.
  3. If it's from Pexels, check the Pexels License.
  4. If it says CC0 or Public Domain, see the CC0 License or the mentioned source.
  5. If it's not from Pixabay, Pexels, or CC0, it's under the Free Content License.
I want to let you know that for some of the below links, I might make a few dollars or cents if you click and buy through the link, which is fantastic. Thank you! This is how I share products I use and love, plus make the passive income I'm striving for. A win-win for both of us!

How to Get a Commerical License

If you are a free Canva user and use a Pro element, then the Pro content will have a watermark. You can purchase a license for that specific design at $1 to remove this watermark. Alternatively, you can sign up for Canva Pro or Canva for Teams, which covers all costs. When you finish and save a design in Canva, you get a license for each item in your design. Free elements/fonts/images are free to use. The PRO items have a CROWN next to them.

For Pro items, you can get a commercial license by:

  1. Paying, if you're using Canva for free or
  2. No extra charge if you have a Canva subscription.

Each paid item can be used in one design with one license. You'll need a new license if you want to use the same item in another design or resize the design. If you have a subscription, you'll automatically get a new license every time you save a new design with that item.

Signing up for a Canva Pro subscription gives you access to millions of premium photos, videos, fonts, graphics, templates, and more. You also get features like background remover, magic resize, brand kit, and unlimited storage.

To get a Canva Pro subscription, you can:

You can cancel your subscription at any time if you change your mind. You are also responsible for complying with the licensing agreement and respecting the rights of others.

For more details, you can read the full licensing agreement here: https://www.canva.com/license-agreements/

there are some rules that you need to respect

Let's talk about Canva Licenses in regards to Commerical usage

For instance, you can:

  • You can use the content in Canva for both commercial and personal use.
  • You can use the content in social media and marketing materials without restrictions.
  • You can use the content on your merchandise.

But you cannot:

  • You cannot sell or take credit for media in Canva that you do not alter. Example: Resell Canva templates or stock elements as-is.
  • You cannot trademark designs with stock media. Thus, it cannot be used in logos.
  • Don't copy someone else's template and call it yours. So wrong!
  • Unless you are making a template to sell for use on Canva, you cannot use Canva Pro content for templates of any kind.
  • Use standalone content (e.g., a photo used on its own without any other design elements) on products or merchandise for sale.
  • Use content that depicts identifiable people in a way that is offensive, defamatory, or infringes on their rights.
Keep this is in mind: you can't just take a design from Canva and sell it exactly how it is. Always add your own touch to it!

Let's get into the nitty-gritty and talk about what you can do and not do in Canva to SELL YOUR BEAUTIFUL DESIGNS!

Things You Can't Do with Designs from Canva:

  1. Sharing and Selling: You can't give, sell, or share the Canva's photos, designs and templates to someone else. It's like having a toy that's only for you, and you can't let others claim it as theirs.
  2. Branding: You can't use the photo and designs as a special symbol or name for a company. Imagine it like using a friend's drawing as your signature – that's not allowed.
  3. Making Products: You can't use the photos/designs to make things like t-shirts, mugs, or posters to sell. It's like using someone else's drawing to make and sell t-shirts without their permission. 
  4. Inappropriate Use: You can't use the photos/designs in a way that's mean, rude, or shows people in a bad way. For example, you can't use someone's photo to make fun of them or use it in a way they wouldn't like.
  5. Competing with Canva: You can't use the pictures in a way that goes against Canva's business. Imagine if you had a lemonade stand, and someone took your special recipe to start their own stand right next to yours. That's not fair!
  6. No Claiming: You can't pretend you made the picture or design. It's like saying you baked the cake when your mom did.
In short, Canva gives you stock images and designs to use, but you must be respectful and fair about how you use them! I use my OWN PHOTOS, so this is not a problem for me- or I upload photos/designs I know I can use, like from Creative Fabrica. Creative Fabrica is where I get images/graphics from and upload them to Canva. 

So I told you what you can't do, so here is WHAT YOU CAN DO 

Here's what you can do: When it says you can make- that is what I mean YOU make– start with a blank design and create it yourself. 

  1. You can make cool commercial designs and put them on shirts, stickers, and books. You can also make them into digital books or magazines.
  2. You can make and sell design templates using Canva's free and pro items, but only by sharing Canva's template links.
  3. You can also make and sell design templates using only the free elements from Canva and share them as pictures or PDFs.
  4. You can make designs for other people, like images for their online posts or party invites.
  5. But, you can't just sell the exact same designs or pictures from Canva.

Canva Wants You To Sell Templates Because…

It brings people to CANVA!

So, creating templates and selling those templates to a customer is A OK in Canva's world. The customer will click on the template link that brings them to Canva, where they can change it up for their own personal usage. Invites are a perfect example of this. Just don't use PRO ELEMENTS! Why not…when someone buys a template who doesn't have Canva PRO (which will be many people) then they have to turn around and buy the PRO elements for $1 a piece- I would be hecka mad at that! 

Making Unique Commercial Designs with Canva Content

Remember: you can't just take a design from Canva and sell it exactly how it is. Always add your own touch to it! Make sure it's truly unique! If you use Canva's free or Pro items in your design, mix them with other elements like pictures, videos, sounds, words, drawings, and edits to create something fresh and new. Want more info about how to create UNIQUE designs- read more HERE.

Wondering if your design is unique? Ask yourself: Did I add my own creative touch? Or did I just make tiny changes to what I found on Canva? Remember, you can't just pick something from Canva, like a photo, slap it on a t-shirt, and sell it. That's not really designing, and it's like selling someone else's work. What's considered “just picking something from Canva”? If you use an item as it is, or just add a filter, change its color, resize, crop, outline, or add a simple border, then you're not really designing.

Ways to Make Your Digital Products Unique in Canva

  • Blend Images: Use the transparency tool or photo effects to blend multiple images together.
  • Use Unique Fonts: Mix and match different fonts or use text effects to make your typography stand out. You can even upload fonts from Creative Fabrica or use the free fonts. 
  • Add Illustrations: Incorporate hand-drawn illustrations or use Canva's elements in unexpected ways.
  • Layering: Layer images, text, and other elements to create depth in your design.
  • Color Schemes: Develop a unique color palette that resonates with your brand or message.
  • Animations: Use Canva's animation features to make certain elements of your design move.
  • Personal Uploads: Add your own photos or graphics to ensure no one else has the exact same elements.
  • Grids and Frames: Use grids or frames to create unique layouts or photo collages.
  • Play with Transitions: Adjust the transparency of images, shapes, and text for a layered effect.
  • Add Shapes: Use basic shapes in creative ways, like circles for text backgrounds or triangles for patterned designs.
  • Use Filters: Apply and customize photo filters to give your images a distinct look.
  • Incorporate Audio or Video: If you're working on a presentation or video in Canva, adding unique sound or video clips can set your design apart.

Remember, the key to a unique design is to let your creativity flow and not just stick to the default settings. Experiment, mix, and match until you find a design that feels right and represents your unique vision.

Here are some EXAMPLES

Templates:  Jill makes invitation templates to sell online. Can she sell on ETSY? 

Ebook sample- How To Understand Canva and Commercial Use Products
  • If she used Canva's Pro items in the templates, she could only sell the template as a template link. She must make a Thank You PDF and add the Template Link from Canva. 
  • If she uses only free items from Canva and her own pictures she uploaded to Canva, she can sell the templates as PDFs or Canva Template links.

Digital Clipart: Joe wants to make and sell digital clipart with Canva's stuff.

  • He needs to upload his own clipart designs from the beginning. Not all of us are artists, so we can either get others to make the clipart, or you can buy clipart from Creative Fabrica (my favorite place) or any other clipart sites. BUT MAKE SURE YOU ARE ALLOWED TO USE IT IN COMMERCIAL PRODUCTS.  

Printed Products: April wants to make designs for t-shirts and mugs

  • She can use a mix of images and words, which is okay, but it needs to be unique. Don't just use any picture from Canva; it is too simple. She should use her own images, then she won't have any issues. 

Stickers:  Bob wants to make fishing stickers with Canva's elements 

  • He can take the graphics he bought (Creative Fabrica) or create and upload them himself, and then he can.  
  • Suppose he creates Fishing Quotes (not sure if that is a thing but…) and uses shapes and fonts. He can make a sticker sheet and sell it as a PDF. 
Digital card sample- How To Understand Canva and Commercial Use Products

Cards:  Sue wants to make greeting cards 

  • She will need to make the cards not editable with a mixture of fonts and Free and Pro Content (if she has the Pro subscription). This is allowed under the Content License Agreement.

Creating a commercial product using a Canva Template: Jordan wishes to design and market a children's book. 

  • He begins the book design using a Canva template. According to Canva's Content License Agreement, this is permissible as long as he doesn't sell the template in its original form. 
  • He must fill the book template with his own material and sprinkle in his own personal creativity, ensuring the book design is distinctively his. 

Design for Clients- Samuel wishes to create social media posts for a client using both Pro and Free content from Canva. This is what is permitted.

  • He must hand over the rights of the social media post to his client, ensuring a formal agreement is in place.
  • He needs to ensure that his client adheres to the Content License Agreement.
  • The design should be exclusive to one client; Samuel cannot share or sell the identical design to multiple clients.
After all that YES, you can sell Canva designs, BUT my advice is to upload images/clipart/designs from other sources that you have the commercial rights to use and create unique designs in Canva with them. 

Alright, let's go over some details we have covered: 

How To Understand Canva and Commercial Use Products

Making Commercial Design with Canva Images

  • If you want to make something to sell, it must be your unique design.
  • When you use Canva's free or paid stuff to make something to sell, it should be a mix of many things like pictures, videos, sounds, words, and drawings to make it feel new and different.
  • How can you tell if your design is special? Ask yourself: “Did I make this design really unique? Or did I just use what I found on Canva with only a few changes?”
  • You can't just take a picture from Canva and sell it as it is. For example, you can't take a picture from Canva, put it on a shirt, and sell it. That's not really making a design; it's like selling someone else's picture. This is true even if someone else prints the shirt for you. What does using a picture “just as it is” mean? If you use the picture without adding much to it, like only changing its color or size, then you're using it just as it is.

Things to Keep in Mind When Creating Commercial Digital Products

While Canva is a great tool, there are certain aspects users should be aware of:

  • Originality: Ensure that your designs are not mere replicas of Canva's templates. Add a personal touch to make them stand out.
  • Check Licensing: Always double-check the licensing of the elements you're using, especially if it's for commercial purposes.
  • Watermarks: Premium elements that haven't been purchased will have a watermark. Ensure you purchase the necessary licenses to remove them.
Sum it all up!  Yes, you can use Canva for commercial use, but it's imperative to be aware of the licensing terms. By adhering to these terms and adding a touch of originality, you can harness the power of Canva to create compelling visual content,

If you have any questions about AI licensing and commercial use, please read more HERE.

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