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 three of this series is all about how you can legally use Canva content throughout your blogging business!
Great visuals can either make or break a blog. Eye-catching Pinterest pin designs get more people to your blog posts.
Intentional blog post graphics break up heavy bits of text and make it easier to read, keeping people on your blog longer.
Enticing freebie opt-in designs gets people to sign up for your email list (and free goodies).
Thoughtful product mockups get people interested in your products before reading your sales page.
Instead of spending thousands on a brand photographer, most bloggers resort to using stock photos for their Pinterest pins, blog post images, opt-in designs, product mockups, and even testimonial graphics.
But because of that, you could be violating Canva’s Content License Agreement without even knowing it.
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If, while reading this post you find yourself on the wrong side of Canva’s agreement, what you do after’s going to make all the difference.
You’ll not only know what oopsies you’ve made by (illegally) using Canva content throughout your blog (so you don’t make them again) but how you can fix it.
We’ve all made mistakes in our blogs that cost us money, loss in traffic, or just downright embarrassment with LOTS of strongly-worded emails.
All you can do is fix it and write it off as a lesson learned!
REMEMBER THIS POST LATER! PIN IT TO YOUR FAVORITE PINTEREST BOARD!⬇
USE CANVA CONTENT ON YOUR BLOG
When you think about all the visuals that go into a blog, it starts to add up pretty darn fast!
Pinterest pins, featured images, opt-in graphics, blog post images, sidebar graphics, about image – it’s like it never ends.
A good chunk of those is usually made with stock photos which means you likely have a stock photo membership or use Canva’s media library.
If you use Canva’s stock photos, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.
- Add the copyright symbol © followed by the creator’s name and then canva.com if using standalone stock images
- Ensure each Pro stock photo used is not larger than 480k pixels (roughly 600px x 800px) OR has content over top (to prevent theft of that image) OR
- Use a free stock photo so you’re not limited by size or design requirements
To make more sense of it all, let’s dive into the areas of a blog where you’d use a stock photo.
Pinterest pin design
Our Pinterest pin sometimes uses a Canva Pro stock photo AND is much larger than 460px in size. But we have content over the majority of the photo, so it cannot be stolen.
Since our Pinterest pin is an original design and not just a stock photo, we don’t have to add any copyrighted material.
Overall, our Pinterest pin meets the criteria discussed in Canva’s Content License Agreement.
Featured images can vary by size based on your website’s theme, so this is something that’ll be unique to you.
For our custom theme (designed by Laura at Pixel Me Designs), our featured image size is 350px x 500px. Because this image size is smaller than 480k pixels, we don’t have to put content over the top to prevent theft.
‘Woman typing on a laptop’ created by Janeb13 on Canva.com
However, most of the images we use are from Canva’s free stock photo library and not Pro, so we don’t have to worry about size regulation and theft prevention. Remember, that’s only for Pro stock photos!
Now let’s chat about copyright for a moment.
Section 9, line item 9 of Canva’s Content License Agreement, states that you can NOT “use the Content for editorial purposes without including the following credit adjacent to the Content or in audio/visual production credits: “©[insert Contributor’s Name] via Canva.com”
Technically, a website or blog is considered editorial, so we, as bloggers, would fall into this particular scenario.
Because our Featured image is a standalone stock photo, we need to credit the creator.
We’ve reached out to Canva for more guidance on how to properly cite stock photos used in featured images and will update you accordingly.
Blog post image
Adding related images throughout a blog post is actually a very common practice to break up heavy blocks of text.
To make sure we’re in compliance with Canva’s Content License Agreement, we generally use free Canva stock images so we’re not limited to a certain pixel size or have to add content over top to prevent theft.
‘Person using Canva on a smartphone’ created by Cottonbro on Canva.com
But if we really wanted to use a Canva Pro stock photo, we would keep the size to under 480k pixels as per section 5A of Canva’s Content License Agreement.
If you want to double-check your pixel size, save the image to your computer, right-click, and then select something like ‘Get info’ (depending if you’re on a Mac or PC).
Under General, we can see that our image is 235,523 pixels in size. If it’s a Pro stock photo, we can use it in our blog post without having to add any content over top to protect the image because it’s less than 480k pixels in size.
Don’t forget that because we’re adding these images as-is to our blogs (they’re not original designs like our Pinterest pin, for example), we need to credit the creator regardless if it’s a free or Pro stock image.
USE CANVA CONTENT IN A TESTIMONIAL GRAPHIC
While your first response might be to share the photo of the person actually giving the testimonial, you can easily use a stock image for things like sports, outdoors, parties, journaling, and many other products.
This keeps with the theme of your brand and showcases your product type (if not the actual product) in action, which helps visualize your buyer using your product.
Related Post: How to Easy Sell Canva Templates on Your Blog
However, there are a couple of things to keep in mind.
According to section 9, line items 6 and 7 of Canva’s Content License Agreement, your graphic can NOT:
- Give the appearance that the person in the stock photo is a brand advocate or endorsing your business (especially political endorsements)
- Depicts any person(s) in the stock photo in a bad light or in a way that they themselves might find offensive
An easy workaround is by using an image of more than one person because it can’t be attributed to one specific individual. See the difference?
The first image gives the appearance that the woman on the laptop gave the testimonial and therefore endorses the template brand. The image on the right, however, can’t be attributed to a specific individual.
You can also just not use an image with a person. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with keeping the testimonial front and center with a few design elements to make it pop.
Another popular option is using the actual testimonial (so like a screenshot). We’ve done this with email and social media posts on our sales and checkout pages for authenticity and trust!
USE CANVA CONTENT TO PROMOTE YOUR PRODUCTS
There are many forms of a product mockup that can be designed with Canva content. We use mockups on social media, in our emails, and on sales pages, just to name a few.
Here are two different product mockups using Canva’s stock images that meet Canva’s Content License Agreement.
First, they don’t give the impression of any endorsements. Second, it doesn’t depict any individual in a bad light.
Related Post: How to Easily Create and Sell Printable Products
If we were to include a testimonial in these images, then we’d be in hot water because it could be tied to the person in the photo. But just using them as a plain ol’ mockup is a-ok.
WHEN YOU CAN NOT USE CANVA CONTENT
It should go without saying that you can NOT use ANY Canva content on a blog that is immoral, libelous, obscene, defamatory, pornographic, or just plain wrong in any given nature.
If the person in the photo or content creator would be seen in a negative light, don’t use it.
Additionally, there are a few other things that can NOT be tied to ANY Canva content.
Tobacco, adult entertainment, politics, and pharmaceutical or healthcare are off-limits. Even herbal and medicinal products cannot be tied to Canva content.
We know that some of our reader’s blogs contain material about naturally grown medicine and remedies, which, unfortunately, could fall under medicinal products.
Please reach out to Canva Support for specific clarification on how you can use Canva content on your blog.
Check out the rest of our Canva Content License Agreement series so you know what you can and can NOT do with your Canva designs as a blogger!
- Part One: Read This Before You Make a Logo in Canva
- Part Two: How to Legally Sell Digital Products Made in Canva
Do you use Canva content in other ways throughout your blog, 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 when you use Canva content (legally) on your blog!
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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