Drop Shadow

A drop shadow in printing refers to a visual effect that creates the illusion of depth and dimension by adding a shadow behind or beneath a text or graphic element. This effect makes the element appear as if it is raised above the background.


Shadow effect


  1. Graphic Design: In a flyer design, a drop shadow was applied to the headline text to make it stand out against the background image, giving it a three-dimensional look.
  2. Business Cards: Drop shadows were used on the company logo on a business card to create a subtle yet impactful depth effect, making the logo more visually appealing.
  3. Website Banners: Drop shadows were added to the main call-to-action button on a website banner to draw attention and make the button look clickable and prominent.


  • Subtlety is Key: Use drop shadows sparingly and subtly to avoid overwhelming the design. A slight shadow can enhance the visual appeal without making the design look cluttered.
  • Adjust Opacity: Adjust the opacity of the drop shadow to ensure it complements the overall design. Lower opacity can create a softer, more natural shadow.
  • Match Light Source: Ensure the direction and angle of the drop shadow are consistent with the light source in the design to maintain a realistic appearance.
  • Consider Color: Use a shadow color that harmonizes with the background. Often, a darker shade of the background color or a neutral gray works best.
  • Offset and Blur: Adjust the offset and blur settings of the drop shadow to control the distance and softness of the shadow, creating the desired depth effect.

Drop shadows are a versatile design tool that can add depth and emphasis to elements in print and digital designs. To learn more about this or other print design elements, contact AP&B today!