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How to Add a Drop Shadow in Illustrator

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What You'll Be Creating

In the following tutorial, you'll discover how to add a drop shadow in Illustrator and learn everything you need to know about the Illustrator drop shadow effect.

Would you like to watch this Illustrator drop shadow effect tutorial in action? You can follow this tutorial in this cool video from the Envato Tuts+ YouTube channel. Don't forget to visit and subscribe if you'd like to watch more content like this!

How to Add a Drop Shadow in Illustrator

Step 1

To add a drop shadow in Illustrator, select your shape(s) and just go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. This will open the Drop Shadow window, where you can select the settings of your drop shadow in Illustrator.

Make sure that you have the Preview box checked to get a live preview with the applied effect and to notice any changes that you choose to make.

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Step 2

Using the Mode dropdown menu, you can select the blend mode of your drop shadow in Illustrator. For this example, we'll use Overlay, but feel free to try out the other blend modes. You can use the up/down arrow buttons from your keyboard to easily toggle between blend modes.

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Step 3

The Opacity value sets the transparency of your drop shadow in Illustrator.

Hover the cursor over the existing value and roll the mouse wheel to easily adjust it. You can also use the arrow buttons or simply enter the desired value in the input field. Holding down the Shift key when you click one of those arrow buttons will increase/decrease the value by 10%. For this example, we'll keep it at 50%.

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Step 4

The X and Y Offset settings control the location of your drop shadow in Illustrator.

The X Offset moves your shadow horizontally, while the Y Offset moves your shadow vertically. Set a negative value whenever you wish to move your shadow up or to the left. For these examples, we'll set both values to 15 px.

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Step 5

The Blur setting controls the blurriness of your shadow.

You can set this to 0 px to add a sharp drop shadow or increase it to make your shadow bigger. For this example, we'll set it to 20 px.

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Step 6

With Color, you can set the color of your drop shadow in Illustrator.

Just click the color wheel and select the color that fits your need. For this example, we'll keep the default black.

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Step 7

With Darkness, the color of your drop shadow is influenced by the fill color of your shape.

Set this value to 0% to use the same color for your shadow that's used to fill the shape. Just increase the Darkness whenever you wish to use a darker shade of the fill color for your drop shadow effect. Once you're done, you can click OK, and that's how you create a drop shadow in Illustrator.

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Congratulations! You're Done!

Now that you know where the drop shadow is in Illustrator, you can apply these techniques in your future projects.

You can find some great sources of inspiration at Envato Elements, with interesting solutions on how to do a drop shadow in Illustrator in more creative ways.

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Popular Assets From Envato Elements

Envato Elements is an excellent resource for Illustrator assets and add-ons. Here's one Illustrator add-on that can help you to quickly recreate the Illustrator drop shadow effect.

Amazing Shadow Actions (EPS)

Now you know how to add a drop shadow in Illustrator, but you're still looking to add a different type of shadow effect? This pack of actions gives you 40 alternatives to choose from. Just click play and you'll get your shadow.

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Want to Learn More?

We have loads of tutorials on Envato Tuts+, from beginner to intermediate level. Take a look!

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