Canva will spoil you with templates, honey. I'm usually here for it, but there are certain instances where you shouldn't and can't lean on the oh-so-tempting cheat code the good people at Canva have laid out for you. This post will break down when you can lean in on templates versus when you shouldn't because...well copyright infringement. No one wants that smoke.
Let's start with when you can utilize templates. You can absolutely take advantage of those excellent done-for-you templates anytime you are working on a personal project, creating posts for your social media, just about anything that you are not planning to sell or directly make money off of. Templates come in the clutch when I need a quick resume, cover letter, newsletter, landing page, thank you cards, hell I can go on and on with all of the things you can create using templates. Just keep in mind, whatever you create with templates is for you, and not anything that you are about to sell to anyone.
I love to take templates that are designed for one purpose and use them for something else. For instance, if I need a quick landing page for a link in bio, I'll search for infographic templates because the measurements work well for mobile devices. If I want to create a reel, I'll use the story template, just so that I can keep it all in one frame vs adding the different videos in the reel templates. Get creative! It's what makes finding templates fun.
Now...there are times when you should not use templates in Canva. If you are creating something to sell, such as a template or template set, you cannot take a pre-made template, swap out some colors and elements, and then upload it to Etsy or wherever to make a quick buck. You'll get flagged, and I'm sure there are some other ramifications of it. A good rule of thumb for knowing when not to use templates is this..." am I going to directly make money off of this as if it is my own work? " If the answer is yes or even maybe, just don't do it.
What you can do is find your inspiration. For example, I will be offering Instagram Highlight covers for sale soon. I had no clue as to how to do this until I dove into the highlight cover templates that are available on Canva. Yes, there are highlight cover templates available...incredible, right?! I went through a few, figured out the sizing and how they were packaged, and set out to create my own from scratch. It was a little rough to start out, but I am on my way to creating and uploading highlight covers either as a freebie or for monies because guess what...I made them myself.
That is the beauty behind this app for me. If I don't know how to do or design something, All I have to do is download a template and see how it ticks and comes together. Then the trial and error begin with how to create it yourself. So now that you know a bit more about whether or not to use templates, what do you think? Did you learn something new today? Drop me a comment below so we can chat about it!