If you do any type of design work, you’ve likely encountered Canva from time to time. Perhaps a client wants you to use a template they’ve created there, or it’s just easier to work within the constraints of the platform for social media or other standard measurements. At some point you’ll work with Canva fonts, so it’s good to know the ins and outs of using them in your designs.
Are All Canva Fonts Free?
Yes, and no. While the basic fonts are free, there are some premade templates you’ll need to upgrade to the pro version to unlock. You can also upload your own fonts, which may be free or cost money for commercial use.
Be sure to always read through licensing details so you know what you can and can’t use a font for. Typically, you can’t resell a font as part of a font package, but it’s fine to use it for a logo or advertising purposes. You may need extended licenses if it goes on a product you resell, such as a book cover, tee shirt or other physical item. Each creator and font foundry can be a bit different, so read through the details to be sure.
Here are the things you should know about Canva fonts as you work with the platform.
1. Find Free Fonts
Canva comes with built in fonts you can use. They are mostly free for commercial use, but you cannot resell them as part of a package. So, you can use a font to create a header for a business website. You cannot use a Canva font to create a package of free fonts for resell. Make sure you check licensing details on any font you use to be certain you don’t need to pay a fee.
We looked at top templates and some of the more common fonts on the site and came up with a mix of serif and sans serif options as well as some decorative fonts you can check out for your next project.
- Eyesome Script
- Bright Retro
- Archivo Black
- London *Pro Font
- Noto Serif
- Canva Sans
- One Little Font
- Architype Bayer-Type * Pro Font
- Bright *Pro Font
- Fabrica *Pro Font
- Georgia Pro
The more you search for popular fonts, the more options you’ll see. Try each one and find the perfect fit for your brand’s personality. One thing to keep in mind is brand consistency. Will the same or similar font be available on another platform should you tweak the design there or create something different with other software?
2. Go for Brand Consistency
Around 78% of people think logos can be like works of art. Does your logo and subsequent materials reflect your brand’s personality? If you don’t already have a style guide in place, now is the perfect time to create one.
Either find a font that works across all mediums and list it as your brand font or choose similar fonts based on strokes, ligatures, and other factors so that they look as similar as possible.
Consider secondary fonts you might want to use that pair well with your primary typeface. Add everything to your style guide. If you pay for the pro version of Canva, you can create a style guide within your account for any of your team members to access. If you are using the free version, save the names of fonts and other details to a separate file.
3. Upload Your Own Fonts
You have an unlimited number of fonts you can use on Canva. Upload any font you choose, but keep in mind that some fonts work better than others in design. So, you can certainly change up what you do and stick to a single font for consistency.
For example, if you invite your customers to an event, you might put your brand logo in a specific font you use everywhere else. Then, you’d add in a script font as well to grab attention. You will need a pro membership to upload your own fonts.
The easiest place to upload fonts is via your brand toolkit.
Under the brand toolkit, scroll down past logos, colors to the fonts sections. You can choose to add new and add as many as you want, giving them specified styles for headings or body text.
It bears repeating to ensure you have the appropriate licensing to use the font for advertising, on products and on your website. Different uses often require different levels of permission. The last thing you want is a fine or lawsuit over misuse.
4. Add Special Effects
One of the fun things about Canva fonts is the ability to add special effects with the click of a button. What might take a lot more in Adobe Photoshop or one of the other design software options happens with a click of the mouse in Canva.
For example, use lift to give the text a three-dimensional appearance. You can also curve the text slightly for an artistic effect.
5. Animate Text
It costs companies 11 times more to attract a new customer than keep a current one. Any small thing you can do to keep your audience engaged benefits your business. Canva fonts let you add in some animation so you can grab user interest and keep people on your site rather than bouncing away.
Source: Example of simple text with the animation of “Party” added.
If you want to post your logo on social media, you can animate some of the letters, all of the letters or add some additional background that sparkles or grabs attention. Have a word bounce into place.
You will need to download the finished product as a video file to take full advantage of all the animations and show them as you designed. Options include GIF, MP4 Video or several other file types, depending on where you want to utilize the animated graphic.
6. Choose the Right Font Combinations
Figuring out which combinations of Canva fonts go best together can ramp up your effectiveness with your audience. First, decide on the personality of your brand. Are you a young, fun company or a serious financial institution? Do you want people to get a casual vibe when they view marketing assets released by you? Perhaps you prefer to be seen as steady and reliable.
No business persona is better than another. However, you have to really understand your audience, their pain points and what they want from your brand. For example, if you run a security firm, people want to know you’re taking things seriously. On the other hand, if you sell bath bombs, they expect a bit of lighthearted fun.
When in doubt, survey your customers and ask them to describe your brand in a few words. Next, ask them what they need to feel secure and comfortable with you. You might see your business one way but your customers might need something different.
Canva offers some ideas for which of their fonts they think go best together.
- Formal: League Spartan (sans serif) and Baskerville (serif)
- Sporty and Fun: Archivo Black (sans) and Archivo Narrow (sans)
- Fun or Events: Playfair Display Black and Playfair Display Standard (decorative fonts)
- Resumes: Julius Sans and Archivo Narrow
- Fashion Retail: Bebas Neue and Montserrat
These are just a few of the fonts available. Canva lists a number of pairings, including examples. You’ll find the best ones within their templates. You can tweak any template to your personal color preferences and needs.
Take the time to try out your own combinations based on the styles Canva suggests. You don’t want your designs to look exactly like a competitors. Thinking outside the box can give you a unique look. It’s also okay to use a single font across your digital assets, as long as the text is readable in different sizes and weights.
7. Select Themed Fonts
When you login to Canva, you’ll find a number of templates with font suggestions. You can tweak the words and stick with the design if you like the way it looks. You can also add text and choose from themed fonts for things such as space, the beach or neon.
Open your project and look on the left sidebar. Click on the text icon or letter T. As you scroll down, you’ll see a number of suggestions including options such as:
- Rodeo *Pro Font
- Wild Sale
- Happy Holidays
- Beach Please *Pro Font
As holidays and seasons change, you’ll see additional suggestions pop up. You can tweak any of the pairings by swapping out one of the font options. Change the colors, words and anything else you’d like to come up with the best design for your brand.
A Few Tips for Working With Fonts in Canva
How do you get the professional edge you see in some designs? Here are a few of our favorite tips for working with Canva fonts:
- Use the guides to align letters but don’t be afraid to move things off-kilter.
- Click on the spacing tool to fix kerning issues and line spacing.
- Consider readability over style and stick with fonts users can decipher.
- Use layering to create a three-dimension affect.
- Outline letters to make them pop.
- You can use several steps to make letters transparent and place a background behind them to give you a gradient effect or cut outs.
One of the best ways to learn how to best utilize fonts in the design tool is to study what other designers have done. Pull up the templates to see what font combinations go well together. Swap them out for a similar family but a different look. If the original design uses a serif with a sans serif, replace each with the same style.
Experiment and Have Fun with Canva Fonts
Spend a little time playing around in the Canva platform and see which features and font pairings you like best. You can also add some layering, such as white text over black to give your designs a bit more depth and pop.
Most designers are already highly creative and skilled at making things visually appealing. You’ll be happily surprised with what you can accomplish with one simple, third-party site. Give it a try and see what you think about Canva for typography.