Updated: Aug 27
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Have you ever asked someone where to create or find a logo for cheap, and they say: "Make one on Canva! It's free and easy to use and they have a TON of templates." So you create an account and get to work designing. But we bet you missed an important step - reading the dreaded Free Media License Agreement. So we went ahead and did it for you, and here are the top 3 potential issues we found...
1. Was My Logo Illegally Designed?
Or is my logo being illegally used?
If you designed or had your logo designed by someone in Canva, there are some things you should know. Canva is a free tool that a lot of amateur designers use to create designs easily and quickly. We know a lot of brands that use Canva to create their logos in the early stages of their business, and while that is okay, it should only be a temporary solution for a logo.
If you read the Free Media License Agreement on Canva, you will note 2 major things that are not prohibited:
[You may not] use any of the Stock Media as part of a trade-mark, design-mark, trade-name, business name, or service mark, whether registered or not
[You may not] sub-license, re-sell, rent, lend, assign, gift, or otherwise transfer or distribute the Stock Media or the rights granted under this Free Media License Agreement
This means that if you created a logo in Canva, and wanted to Trademark your logo down the road, it's impossible to do. Canva has the rights to your logo, not you. And furthermore, if you wanted to create T-Shirts or mugs to sell, can't do that either (see Even THIS Is Against their Terms and Conditions?!)
The way we suggest using Canva is to draft out an idea of the design you want in order to show the design to an agency or designer so they can execute and customize a similar design for you. That way, you will both be on the same page about the style you want. Just know, that a designer will probably change the elements in order to be more custom, so don't get too attached!
Canva even agrees! Here is a quote from their Licenses Page:
"A trademark has to be a unique symbol. For that reason, you can't use Free or Pro content as part of a trademark, design mark, trade name, business name, service mark, or logo. Our logo templates are for inspiration – a starting point for your own unique design."
2. Wave Goodbye to Your Brand Identity
While it is true that Canva has some pretty decent templates to choose from, this can actually be detrimental to your business when creating a brand. When creating a logo, you want something to stand out and be genuinely unique to your brand. What you don't want to do is use a logo template that thousands of other people may have used already!
If your brand's logo is similar to another, you might confuse the people who think they recognize your brand when in reality, they don't know who you are. And worse, if they had a bad experience with a brand with a similar style to yours, you will have to work harder to earn their trust!
Creating separation between brands is the best thing you can do to make sure you own your brand's story and that you don't have to waste your time fighting the reputation of another brand.
3. Even THIS Is Against their Terms and Conditions?!
Any design you create in Canva is subject to different licensing agreements. Meaning free vs. paid Canva users are allowed different permissions. Canva spells this out here:
"If your design uses only free elements from our library, they are subject to the terms of our licenses. If your design uses any paid elements from our image library, you need to purchase the images under the Extended License to use it on products for resale. You may print your design on items like posters and t-shirts for promotional or other personal purposes, as long as those items are not sold."
So if you plan on creating a design in Canva and making a profit, you might want to think twice. Not only this, but these licensing agreements can change at any time! So if it's okay to use a particular design one day, the next day it can change without warning and you'll be stuck with a bunch of T-Shirts you can't sell!
Using free software might be the first idea for creating content for your business, but the terms and conditions are extensive and it can be hard to keep track of everything! Making sure you work with a reputable agency to create your designs for you will allow you to save time and money (and likely, lawsuits!) while giving you peace of mind, and great results.
Check out our services today and see how Alluring Media Co. can help you establish the branding, logos, and graphic design your brand needs!