Our up-to-date Canva Review for contributors helps sellers decide if you should sell your photos or vector art at Canva. Learn about royalties & more.

Canva Review

Review Updated: 2017

Canva is a very interesting option for stock photographers and vector artists. It isn’t a stock agency in the traditional sense. Rather, Canva is an amazing design tool that aims to provide professional-grade results to everyone.

Thus our Canva review isn’t necessarily the same as our reviews of other sites that sell stock imagery. But instead of focusing on the design tools available (which are awesome) we will focus on what matters to sellers – what they sell, how much you will earn.

Canva begun in 2012. A small Australian based company with a great new idea, it didn’t take long for it to grow. It soon began to seek contributions from stock photographers and later, vector artists. While it struggled early on with reviewing the huge amount of images being submitted, it eventually caught up and now is about on par with other agencies in terms of review times.

Canva Review – Images & Licenses

Something unique that Canva does is create transparent PNG’s from relevant content. For example, if you submit a product shot isolated on white, most likely it will be put into the Cutout Queue. This is extremely long as each image gets cutout by hand. So don’t expect these kinds of images to go live for sale anytime soon.

If you are submitting vectors be sure they will work for Canva. Canva doesn’t want templates with “Your Text Here” kind of layouts, or icon packs with 72 different designs. They are after individual items that can be used as part of an overall design. So seperate out your icons before submitting.

An important point to note about Canva is that their standard license is very different from normal royalty free sales. The end user never actually receives the file as a download, rather it just becomes available to them in the online design tool. The standard license is actually called a One-Time Use license, which is very true to what it means. That client can use the image in one design – and thats it. The watermark on this file is removed for only 24 hours. These licenses net the seller $0.35 per license. A newer license is called a Multi-Use license, which means they can use it in multiple designs, and the seller receives $3.50 per license. Finally there is an Extended License which costs the user $100, similar to other agencies.

Canva Review – Why Sign Up?

  • A growing business with a huge user base that need images for every design
  • Fair license system with 35% royalty per sale
  • No tiered system that penalises new contributors
  • Your image file stays on Canva, not with the client
  • They are constantly growing the business, with iPad & iPhone apps etc

Canva Review – Downsides?

  • No opportunity to earn above 35%, but that is about on par with most agencies
  • They are strict with who they are accepting now as contributors
  • Multi-Use licenses are still few, so most sales will be for $0.35

Canva Review Fast Facts

Media Types

Canva sells the following media:

Stock photos
Vector illustrations
Transparent PNG’s
Design templates

Sale Types

Canva sells using the following methods:

One-Time Use License
Multi-Use License
Multi-Seat License
Unlimited Reproduction License

Canva Review – Conclusion

What Canva have achieved is pretty amazing. Applications like Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape, while amazingly powerful, are also amazingly difficult to learn. Canva has allowed the average person to knock out an amazing design in very little time, without in-depth knowledge of an expensive program. You have to love them for that.

They have also provided another revenue stream for stock photographers and vector artists. In fact, Canva are now one of my most consistent earners each month.

The only real downside at the moment is that they have tightened up who they are accepting, so while it is worth trying, don’t feel bad if you are not accepted right away.

Canva seems to be a company with a strong future ahead of it. If you are fortunate enough to get approved now, you can be sure it will have been worth the effort. Personally, I wish there were more companies like Canva making new ways for stock photographers to earn an income, rather than just new stock agencies starting up (and collapsing) each year.

Canva gets my vote.

You’ve read the Canva review, now see Canva in action