Canva is an excellent resource for graphic design, and can help transform solopreneurs into graphic designers overnight – with no advanced photoshop knowledge required! However, there are some limitations to using Canva, particularly when it comes to creating a logo for your business. There are legal reasons why you should not use a Canva-made logo for your business, so it’s important to be aware of these before you start designing.

First, the issue of trademark

Logos created from a Canva template cannot be trademarked, period. The content below is provided by Canva directly:

A trademark has to be a unique symbol which is exclusively used by a brand owner. For that reason, you can’t use any Free or Pro content from Canva’s media library in a trademark (except for fonts, basic shapes and lines). If you use Free or Pro content in any branded materials, including logos, remember that other Canva users are free to use the same Content and you can’t claim exclusive rights.

Which brings us to our next issue, exclusive rights

By using Canva or any other template-based graphic design software, you can be sure that somewhere out there, another person has a similar logo. The text may be different, but the logo is the same. Etsy is another place where logos are mass-manufactured. In the screenshot below, you can see just how many times these logos have sold (thousands of times). Do you want a logo that thousands of other people have? I don’t.


Then there’s copyright infringement

The majority of Canva’s users are not professional designers, which means they’re relying heavily on Canva’s inventory of clip art and graphics. Canva’s stock media library is licensed by third-party websites, and therefore, the copyrights belong to them.

Canva’s terms state that you can sell content that you created, but specifies that this doesn’t apply to their templates. So if you’ve used a template to generate your logo, you may find yourself in a gray area when it comes to selling merchandise with your logo down the line.

But does it even matter?

If you’re a small, locally owned business and you never intend to take your brand national – maybe none of this impacts you!

You needed a logo, you made one, and you kept your budget intact. That’s great! These issues begin to come into play when your business starts increasing in visibility, and you start thinking about your brand’s unique identity on a much larger scale.

So, is Canva bad for logo creation?

No! There are elements that are safe to use and can be trademarked. These elements include fonts, as well as basic shapes and lines. You can also use Canva to upload your own unique art (they have recently begun supporting SVG files), and using the software to arrange it exactly as you’d like it.

In short, be wary of creating your logo from any pre-fabricated template – and if you do choose to go that route, make sure you’re aware of the rights you have surrounding your logo. Canva’s content license agreement can be found here. Happy marketing!