In this Canva Content License Agreement series, we’ll be diving into the can and can NOTs of your Canva designs as a blogger. Part two of this series is all about how you can legally sell products made in Canva – it’s not as straightforward as some might think!
Canva is not only the focal point of our business but also, hands down, the best tool we’ve ever used.
It’s so easy to create literally any visual for your blog – product mockups, lead magnets, social media posts, email signatures, and even digital AND physical products.
Bloggers and small business owners don’t just use Canva. Mega corporations like FedEx not only use Canva but actually partnered to create a design-to-print marketplace.
Okay, it’s no secret we get super giddy anytime we can talk about how awesome Canva truly is.
But the one thing that’s not so awesome is talking about Canva’s content licenses.
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It’s easy to think that if Canva offers it, we can use it without question. Life as a blogger could be much simpler, right?
If you sell products made in Canva, you could violate their Content License Agreement without knowing it.
And if reading this post helps you realize you are, that’s okay. You’ll know what mistakes you’re making (so you don’t make them again) and how you can fix them!
Or maybe you’re just starting and want to ensure you’re doing things right the first time.
We’ve all made mistakes, both big and small (trust us!), and we all still managed to come out on the other side stronger than ever.
So if you sell products made in Canva or want to start, this is for you!
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Canva offers two membership plans – free and Pro. Even though your free membership has a very limited media library, you still have the option to purchase Pro content.
Each piece of Pro content (indicated by a crown icon) is just $1. Even though you purchased a piece of Pro content, you must pay each time you use it in a DIFFERENT design/project.
If Amanda has a free account and purchases a piece of Pro content (let’s say, an arrow) for one social media post, she’ll pay $1. But if she wants to use that same arrow in:
- Multiple social media posts that are in the SAME design/project, she’ll only pay $1
- Two YouTube thumbnails in DIFFERENT designs/projects, she’ll pay an additional $1
- One page in her eBook, she’ll pay an additional $1
This can add up quickly, so if you use more than 13 pieces of Pro content a month, you’d save money by upgrading to Canva Pro ($12.99/mo OR $119/yr).
If you’re on Canva’s free plan and pay to use a piece of Pro content, you’re issued a Pro Content license upon purchase.
If you have a Canva Pro account and use a piece of Pro content, you’re issued a Pro Content license when you export a design.
But what does that mean?
When you either purchase or export a design using a piece of Pro content, you agree to the limitations found in the Pro Content license.
There are things you can and can NOT do with your designs that contain Pro content.
CAN YOU CREATE AND SELL PRODUCTS MADE IN CANVA?
The short answer is YES. You can create and sell products made in Canva!
Some limitations will vary based on the type of product you’re selling, whether it’s an end-user product or a design template.
But before we dive into examples specific to bloggers, there are some license commonalities with selling any product you created in Canva.
1. THEY MUST BE YOUR DESIGNS
Any design you want to sell (finished or template) has to be created from scratch. You can also purchase a design template specifically made for commercial use from a third party (like us).
However, you can use a Canva template for inspiration! This is a great way to see what types of layouts or styles you like (or maybe even a color palette!) to help you create something unique.
This includes selling standalone items like a stock photo or single design element from Canva’s media library, which we’ll get to in a later example. That’s a big no-no!
2. CANVA TEMPLATES CAN NOT BE SOLD AS-IS
You cannot sell something you didn’t create. To sell Canva templates, you must create your own designs.
It’s kind of obvious, but you can’t take credit for something you didn’t design. How would you feel if someone took something you created, changed out one or two things, and started selling it as their own?
You’d feel pretty icky, huh?
3. CANVA TEMPLATES WITH PRO CONTENT MUST BE SOLD AS A CANVA LINK
If you use Pro content in your (original) design template, it has to stay in Canva by selling it as a direct Canva link.
If your designs ONLY include free content, you can sell them as a digital file (flattened PDF or PNG) or as a direct Canva link.
You can do this by delivering a PDF with buttons that link to each Canva template. This helps ensure the proper royalties are paid to those who contribute to Canva’s Pro media library, like photographers, illustrators, artists, etc.
Now that you know what you can and can’t do if you want to sell products made in Canva, let’s dig deeper into a few examples specific to bloggers.
USING CANVA CONTENT IN PRODUCTS TO SELL
Renee wants to create a workbook to help parents teach their children about the Bible. Her workbook will include a mixture of Canva free and Pro content, including stock photos and graphics.
Related Post: How to Design a Workbook Using Canva
Referencing sections 5 and 5A of Canva’s Content License Agreement, Renee can sell her workbook if:
- It’s an original design (or she purchased a template specifically intended for commercial use from a third party like us)
- Each Pro stock photo used is not larger than 480k pixels (or 600px x 800px) OR has content over top (to prevent image theft)
- It’s being sold as a finished product that her customer can use as-is (doesn’t need to edit to use)
Yes, you read that right. You can NOT use a Canva template to create a workbook to sell it if you do not put your own creative design spin to make it your own.
This is why we highly encourage our readers to purchase design templates specifically designed for commercial use from a third party (like us!).
We created our templates to help you sell digital products without worrying about design or licensing.
Keep in mind that Renee’s example applies to most end-user products.
End user means it doesn’t require any edits from the purchaser in order to use – workbooks, eBooks, worksheets, greeting cards, cheat sheets, etc.
However, there is one caveat that we’ll get to in example #2.
Let’s say Renee is on Canva’s free plan, uses our page design templates, and ONLY wants to use free content throughout her workbook.
Renee no longer has to worry about:
- Creating an original design because she’s using OUR templates designed for digital products
- A specific pixel limit because it doesn’t apply to free stock photo content
- Selling her workbook in a particular format if she decides to sell it as a template versus end-use
Remember us mentioning Canva templates that contain Pro content MUST be sold as a direct Canva link?
Because Renee uses free content in her workbook (instead of Pro content), she can sell her workbook in various ways if she decides to sell it as a template instead of an end-user product.
Morgan has a homeschooling blog and wants to sell printable flashcards with only individual pieces of Canva content on each card, like an earthworm, caterpillar, and honey bee.
While the printable flashcards wouldn’t require editing from the end user, it still violates Canva’s Content License Agreement. So, what makes Morgan’s flashcards different from Renee’s workbook?
Renee incorporates Canva’s content throughout her workbook, making it an original design.
Related Post: How to Easily Create and Sell Printable Products
Selling printable flashcards with standalone Canva content violates section 9, line item 1 of Canva’s Content License Agreement.
Whether Morgan was using free or Canva Pro content, she was (unintentionally) reselling Canva content as a standalone element.
What can Morgan do to sell flashcards still? Morgan needs to do one of the following:
- Create an original design (either with the Canva content or without)
- Purchase design elements specifically for commercial use (like Creative Market)
Suppose Morgan was to purchase her insect graphics from Creative Market for commercial use (meaning, she bought the ‘Commercial’ license at checkout). In that case, she can create and sell her flashcards as initially intended.
We recommend this route because it can become a gray area in terms of creating an original design when you want to use just one piece of Canva content.
Could Morgan put the piece of content over a colored shape to provide some dimension? Absolutely. Does that classify as an original design? Some might say yes; some might say no.
She could get more creative with her design, but then it might negatively affect the intent of the homeschooling product.
You can always contact Canva Support for more clarity or if you’re unsure about any potential license violations.
Carla is a skilled calligrapher and wants to design and sell her own line of stationery, including children’s birthday invitation templates.
All of her designs are completely original, with a mixture of free and Pro content. She then sells her invitation templates on her Shopify storefront as direct Canva template links.
Carla does NOT violate Canva’s Content License Agreement because she:
- Designed all of her templates from scratch
- Sells her templates specifically for use on Canva (only when using Pro content)
Because the customer needs to add their information to use this product, it’s not classified as an end-user product but rather as a template.
Canva treats templated products differently than end-user products, specifically those that use Pro content.
Here’s where we get into end-user versus templated products again.
Related Post: How to Sell Canva Templates on Your Blog
If Carla were to use ONLY free content in her invitation templates, she would have the option of selling her templates as a direct download (like a flattened PDF or PNG) or as a Canva template link.
But because she includes Pro content in her templates, she MUST sell them as direct Canva template links. Canva Pro content licenses will always trump their free content licenses.
Jasmine blogs about all things dogs and wants to start selling apparel for dog lovers on Etsy using a print-on-demand service like Printify.
She uses a pre-existing Canva template but puts her own unique, creative take on it to make it her own. She used a mixture of fonts as well as free and Pro content. Then, she downloads her design as a high-quality digital file and uploads it to Printify.
Jasmine does NOT violate Canva’s Content License Agreement because she:
- Put in her own creative effort to make the design template unique and original to her
- Didn’t use any piece of free or Pro content as a standalone design item
If her design consisted of just a single stock photo (or piece of content, as we mentioned in example #2) instead of her own design, Jasmine would’ve violated Canva’s Content License Agreement.
It would still violate the agreement even if she added a simple border. The bottom line, the designs you sell need to be original.
CANVA PROTECTS THEIR CREATORS
You need to know a lot of information if you want to (legally) sell products made in Canva.
We promise you, Canva isn’t doing this to make our lives as bloggers harder. They want to ensure that the proper royalties are paid to those contributing to their Pro media library.
Once we started looking at their Content License Agreement from that mindset, it became much clearer.
If you sell Canva templates that contain Pro content, you must sell them as a direct Canva link. That’s so the creators of the Pro content are paid.
If your end-user product contains Pro stock photos, it can’t be larger than 480k pixels in size (600x800px) or have another piece of content or text over it, so it can’t be stolen.
You can’t resell something you didn’t create, which protects the original creator(s). Instead, purchase templates specifically designed for commercial use from a third-party designer like us!
Check out the rest of our Canva Content License Agreement series for bloggers, mainly if you sell Canva-created products!
- Part One: Read This Before You Make a Logo in Canva
- Part Three: How to Use Canva Content Throughout Your Blog
Do you sell products using Canva, or do you have a different example you want us to share? Let us know down in the comments.
We want to make sure this post is as informative as possible so you can feel confident creating and selling products made in Canva!
Don’t forget to grab our FREE Product Creators QuickStart Kit! Use the checklist, cheatsheet, and Canva design template to create a digital product for your blog!
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