Skip to content

Drop Shadow Effect in Adobe Illustrator

Drop shadows are an effective way to add depth and dimension to your designs in Adobe Illustrator. By casting a shadow behind an object or text, you can create a sense of realism and visually separate elements from the background.

In Illustrator, you can easily apply drop shadows to objects or text using the built-in effects and blending options. The drop shadow effect allows you to control the shadow’s distance, angle, opacity, and blur to achieve the desired result.

By adjusting the settings, you can create subtle shadows for a soft and natural effect or more pronounced shadows for a bold and dramatic look. Experimenting with different settings and combinations can help you achieve the desired visual impact.

Illustrator also offers additional customization options for drop shadows, such as changing the color, blending mode, and transparency of the shadow. This allows you to match the shadow’s appearance with the overall style of your design.

When applying drop shadows to text, you can retain the editable text properties by using the Appearance panel. This way, you can easily modify the text content while preserving the applied drop shadow effect.

By combining drop shadows with other Illustrator features like gradients, transparency, or layer blending modes, you can create even more compelling visual effects. These techniques can enhance the realism and depth of your designs.

Adobe Illustrator provides powerful tools and options for creating drop shadows. By utilizing the drop shadow effect, customizing its properties, and combining it with other design elements, you can add depth and visual interest to your illustrations, logos, and graphic designs.

You can add/drop a shadow to your artwork with the help of the Drop Shadow Effect, which is in-built in Adobe Illustrator. This effect helps in creating a live effect for the artwork. This effect is present in Stylize under Effect in the Menu Bar.
Drop Shadow Effect in Adobe Illustrator
It is easy to just select and apply this effect but to create a good effect, one must know the proper use of the settings present in the Drop Shadow dialogue box.
Now follow the below steps to learn about the Drop Shadow Effect in Adobe Illustrator

Step 1

Launch Adobe Illustrator and create a new document.
Now either draw something or copy any object from your old artwork. I have created my own artwork and will show you how the Drop Shadow Effectwill be applied to this artwork.
Drop Shadow Effect in Adobe Illustrator

Step 2

After creating your artwork, select the artwork in which you want to apply the drop shadow effect. Then click on Effect in the Menu Bar. Place the cursor on Stylize and select Drop Shadow.
Drop Shadow Effect in Adobe Illustrator

Step 3

After selecting Drop Shadow, a Drop Shadow dialogue box will appear on the artboard. In that dialogue box, you will see different blending modes of shadow.
By default, Multiply mode will be selected. Always remember to put a checkmark on Preview before making any changes in the settings.
Drop Shadow Effect in Adobe Illustrator
In the above image, you can see the preview of the effect. The shadow is close to the artwork, but I want the shadow to be dropped away from the artwork. For that, we have to increase the points of X Offset.
By default, X Offset is 7 pt, and I have increased it to 65 pt. Now see the difference in the below image.
Drop Shadow Effect in Adobe Illustrator

Step 4

The X Offset helps in determining the distance of the shadow from the object and the Y Offset helps in shifting the shadow upwards or downwards.
In the below image, you can see that I have increased the Y Offset from 7 pt to 25 pt, and the shadow has been shifted downwards.
Drop Shadow Effect in Adobe Illustrator
Similarly, you can increase or decrease the Blur point and even change the color of your shadow. After making the required changes in the settings, click OK to apply the Drop Shadow Effect.
Practice Time
Now practice the Drop Shadow Effect in Adobe Illustrator. Play with the X Offset and Y Offset and notice where the shadow is dropped. Also, try to change the color of the shadow.
Write your views regarding this Illustrator tutorial in the comment section and share this tutorial with others.


  • Vivi Designing

    Vivi Designing is a platform for people who are in love with design and are eager to learn for creativity and inspiration. We provide free design resources, articles, tutorials, techniques, and the latest trends in Adobe Illustration and Adobe Photoshop.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *