This blog is about Graphic Design, Vector Art, and Cartoon Illustration

How to create soft drop shadows in Adobe Illustrator

Yes, you can create soft drop shadows in Adobe Illustrator. It gives a nice feel to the otherwise flat feeling of vector objects. And it looks especially nice with photos and stacked graphics. It's a menu item, and once you find it, it works pretty much the same as in Adobe Photoshop.

I won't kid you - it's pretty effectively hidden. So stay with me on this. This is an advanced technique, so if you're just beginning Adobe Illustrator, I can't advise it. If you can do this, by all means do so, the effect is pretty darn cool. Here is how you do it:

Start by opening the "Appearance" window. I keep this window open all of the time, by the way. At the bottom of the Appearance window is an icon that says fx. That means "effects" - say it out loud. I've always enjoyed Adobe's sense of humor on this. That gives you a bunch of pullout menus - which may be new to you - so select "Stylize" and from that select "Drop Shadow".

No, I didn't say this was easy, but the effect is worth the trouble!