I fought the law and the law won

picking fonts is more important than you think

I didn’t, but it was a catchy title, right? So what’s this blog post about? It’s about Canva and the legalities surrounding the fonts they provide.

So, you’ve been playing in Canva and made a DIY logo, or possibly an advert selling your products or services? That’s great! Your new advert probably looks ace, and you’re proud of it, as you should be! But before you go sharing it all over the internet and bringing in the money, there’s something you should know. Fonts and graphics you get online may be subject to copyright.


Yes, even fonts. You might think the fonts Canva provide can be used in commercial projects (like your advert promoting your services) for free, but that’s not always the case. Fonts, like any other creative work, are subject to copyright protection. If you’re using the pro version of Canva, you have over 3000 fonts to pick from to compliment your design. So how do you know which ones you can use commercially? Canva doesn’t tell you, so I will. You might need to buy a licence to use that gorgeous font you just found.

copyright symbol

How do I know if I need to buy a licence?

Canva doesn’t provide a pop-up notification for each font you decide to use so it can be understandably confusing to know which fonts are ok and which aren’t. There is a simple solution for this though, Google fonts. Fonts provided by Google are all free for commercial use, so you can use any of those without worry.

Google Fonts and Canva

I know, with over 3000 fonts to choose from in Canva it can be impossible to remember which are Google fonts and which aren’t. One way around this is when you find a font you like in Canva, head on over to Google Fonts and see if they have it listed there. If it’s there, Brilliant! Go ahead and use it, there’s no licence needed.

there's over 900 google fonts to choose from

What if it isn’t a Google font?

Here’s where a little more work is involved. You’re going to have to go looking for it. My favourite place to start is always 1001 free fonts. They have over 1000 fonts (no surprises there) to choose from and if your font is there, you’ll be able to see if it’s free for commercial use or if you need to buy a licence.

Still can’t find it?

If your font isn’t in either of those places, you’re going to have to dig a little deeper. It’ll be out there somewhere; you just need to find it. You could always take a gamble and just use it anyway, but then you run the risk of the font designer finding out and being more than a little bit cross with you (and quite right too!). And if that happens, just think of all the graphics you sweated blood and tears over in Canva that’d you’d have to go back and change. Bit of a nightmare, really? It’s better to just do it right the first time round.

But it still sounds like too much work!

If all that seems like a lot of effort for a few words on a picture, then I have an even better solution for you. You could let someone else take care of all that for you. Why? Because it’s not just about the fonts you use. You also have to consider copyright surrounding the graphics Canva provides too. Fortunately for you, I know an expert who made Canva her full time job, and she does it bloody well, you might even call her a Canva Queen. If you want to read more about Canva graphics and potential copyright issues, then head on over to Simply On Demands blog post that covers this in more detail.

an artists studio

Let’s wrap this up

In a world where fonts have personalities of their own and can elevate your creative projects to new heights, it’s only fair to respect the rights of font designers. So don’t be a jerk, folks. Respect copyright laws, read those licensing agreements like a boss, and keep that font game strong while staying within the legal boundaries.

Remember, fonts are like the bad boys of the design world – they may be captivating, but they’ve got guidelines you need to follow. Stay informed, be respectful, and let your creativity flow while keeping copyright concerns at bay. Now, go forth and design, my font-loving friend. May your typography be tasteful, and your legal liabilities limited. Cheers!