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How to Create Drop Shadows in Affinity Designer
  • By Design Bundles
  • 12 Jul 2021
  • 6 Mins
  • Affinity Tutorials

How to Create Drop Shadows in Affinity Designer

In this step-by-step tutorial, learn how to add a Drop Shadow in Affinity Designer.

Drop shadows can be used in graphic design to give the illusion of a 3D object. It gives the image depth as though it is hovering above the page. There are various setting that can be changed to simulate the direction of the light source, the size of the shadow and how far away the image is from the background.

In this tutorial we are using the Hey Girl font by Angèle Kamp. A feminine font like Hey Girl will be great for this project.

Entering Text

Select your font and enter your chosen text. If you are new to Affinity Designer, we have s great guide on using fonts in Affinity Designer.

Affinity Designer type text

Changing Font Color

For this effect you don't have to convert the text to curves, but it's a good idea to change to color. Most drop shadows are black so a lighter color will have a better effect. Choose your color in the color picker. I chose a medium pink color.

Affinity Designer Select Color

Locate the Effects Panel

On the right hand side of your screen you will find the effects panel. Click on it for more options and select Outer Shadow.

Affinity Designer Effects pallette

Outer Shadow Options

There are several options under this panel, we'll go through them one by one below. Ignore the Fill Opacity for a minute, we'll come back to that later.

Affinity Designer Outer Shadow Options

Step 1. Opacity

The Opacity alters the the transparency of the shadow. Moving the slider to the left increases the transparency and moving it to the right decreases the transparency. Below is an example of 100% Opacity versus 0% Opacity.

Affinity Designer 100% Opacity

Affinity Designer Opacity 0%

Step 2. Radius

The radius alters the size of your drop shadow. If you move the slider to the left the size of the shadow will decrease. Moving it to the right will increase the size of the shadow. Below is an example of 100pxRadiusversus 0pxRadius.

Affinity Designer Radius 100%

Affinity Designer Radius 0%

Step 3. Offset

The Offset setting allows you to change how far away the shadow is from the original object. As with the other settings you can slide left or right to increase or decrease the effect. Below is an example of 100 px versus 0% px.

Affinity Designer Offset 100%

Affinity Designer Offset 0%

Step 4. Offset Tool

Clicking on the Offset Tool button allows you to have free control over the shadow. You can drag it with your mouse wherever you want it on your canvas.

Affinity Designer Offset Tool

Step 5. Angle

The angle button change the direction of the "light source" therefore changing the direction of the shadow. You can drag the marker to a different angle or if you have a specific measurement in mind you can click on the number and use your keyboard to enter an exact angle.

Affinity Designer Change Angle top

Affinity Designer Change Angle Bottom

Creating a Fun Effect using Outer Shadow.

Let's go back to that Fill Opacity that we mentioned earlier. This tool is not specific to the Outer Shadow, it can be used with any of the effects in the Effects panel. Apply your shadow to your text and then reduce the Fill Opacity to 0%. This makes your original text transparent but keeps the drop shadow, giving an awesome embossed text look.

Affinity Designer Transparent Text

If you liked this tutorial make sure to check out how to put text in shapes and how to put text on a path in Affinity Designer.

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