Can You Use Canva For Print On Demand?

If you've been living under a rock for the past week or so, you may have missed the controversy about using Canva for print on demand. It all started in the Canva Design Community Facebook Group when a user posted a definitive statement about how Canva's licensing agreement does not allow for Canva's designs to be used for print on demand. As you can expect, this began a slew of comments as well as many people canceling their Canva Pro accounts.

To be completely transparent, I never saw the original post, but as I've looked into the content licenses and using Canva for commercial purposes, I can't really see much of an issue here. As far as I can tell, the only you can't (and shouldn't) do is take an existing piece of content or art and use it on your POD product without altering it in any way - that's clearly spelled out as a no no on this page.

"Your designs should always be your own creations."

Canva permitted uses

For example, you can legally sell your design on printed merchandise like t-shirts, posters, stickers, tote bags and the like. You can also design and sell certain digital products like e-books and magazines, or create designs for your clients (e.g. a social media post) and transfer the rights to them.

It is never OK to sell Canva Content on a standalone basis (e.g. put one of our template designs on a t-shirt and sell it as-is). Your designs should always be your own creations.

The thread has since been deleted by one of the group's moderators. However, a Canva employee named Ed posted an official statement on the matter:

Community Update: Content Licensing

Hello everyone,

We hope you’re all having a great start to the week!

We wanted to share an update and some guidance following a post over the weekend about our licensing terms. While we absolutely understand (and love!) everyone’s enthusiasm and willingness to help educate our community on this topic, unfortunately, some of the information shared over the weekend wasn’t quite accurate. We’ve removed the post to avoid creating any additional confusion and we’ve captured all of the great questions raised in the thread.

We completely understand that content licensing is an important topic for our community and it’s an area we’re actively working to simplify. Following the post shared over the weekend, we’ll be creating a Canva Help Article in the next day or two with answers to some of the questions raised in the thread, including extra and more simplified guidance on selling designs.

In the meantime, we wanted to share a quick reminder that the best place to check for the most accurate information on content licensing is Canva’s Content License Agreement, or by reaching out to our support team (

Thanks again for all of the great questions and your helpful feedback. We’ll be sharing our updated guidance on this topic shortly, but please feel free to reach out to our support team if you have any specific questions or concerns before then instead of creating new posts.

Ed From Canva

Canva Design Community

In the end, this seems to be much ado about nothing, but since so many are posting YouTube videos with inflammatory titles like "Canva Is Dead For POD!" and "Cancel Your Canva Account Now!" we felt we needed to at least hit the bullet points about what's happening. At the very least we should be getting some clarity in the next few days from Canva about how we can legally use the Canva elements in our businesses. More to come!

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