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Adobe InDesign CC - Essential Training

How to add drop shadows to an image or logo in InDesign

Daniel Walter Scott

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In this video we're going to look at special effects in InDesign. There's not many of them in InDesign, it's more of a Photoshop job but there's some basic stuff here in InDesign. The main one that I use is 'Drop Shadow', and it's really handy for say this logo. It's against our kind of mortal background. We can turn 'Drop Shadow', and watch this, turn it off. Easy enough to read, but it's even easier to read with the 'Drop Shadow' on it. So we're going to show you how to do that. Let's go and do it.

First thing we need to do is, we're going to select on this logo here. Not the center of it, just with the 'Black Arrow', click anywhere but your 'Content Grabber'. And let's go up to 'Objects', down to 'Effects'. And here are our effects. We're going to start with 'Drop Shadow'. I'm going to move mine just over a little bit. You notice, 'Preview' was on by default for mine, you have to turn yours on. And you see, there's a Drop Shadow. On, off, on, off.

When it comes to the Drop Shadow the opacity is important, it's how dark it is. You can see, I can lighten it up, darken it up. 75% is, I don't know why, always the best one. 'Distance' is how far away it is, you can click up. You can see, it's moving further and further away. '0.5', maybe even lower. What was it on by default? I can't remember, something like that. 'Offset' is exactly like distance except that you can control the up and the down, this one does left and right, or X and Y at the same time, so you can say, actually I just want it to go up that way. So I'm going to put that one back to what that one was.

The 'Angle' is which way the Sun's hitting, and casting the shadow. You can see, here, 'Angle' at 135, it's coming down from this angle. You can say, drag this little guy around. And it's now coming up from the bottom of this. I find top, left, or straight up and down is the key. I'm going to use 90 for straight up and down for my one. 'Size' is how fuzzy the edges are, watch this, if I make it really big it's getting big and broad, it's a little bit hard to see, I guess, so I'm going to move it out. Let's click 'OK', and drag it out here, so you can see it a bit more. You can see the size now is kind of a big, broad option. To get back into it, like I have if I've closed it down, you can go back to 'Object', 'Effects', and click on 'Drop Shadow' again.

So that's the size, so if I move the size down it gets sharper, and sharper until it's more of a hue around the outside, it's up to you. We don't use 'Spread', we don't use 'Noise', you can play around with them, it looks a little lame. Now, for me, I only ever use the 'Drop Shadow'. There are other ones, I just don't find a purpose for them. So, let's have a little look at them, so I'm going to untick 'Drop Shadow' and tick 'Inner Shadow'. It puts like a shadow inside the logo, it's kind of cool. I don't really use it very much. I'll go untick that, click on 'Outer Glow', and it's got kind of a halo effect around the outside, kind of cool.

One thing you'll notice is that I've turned this on and off, and you'll see that these, I can't change it. It's because I've still selected 'Blue' here. I've still got 'Drop Shadow' selected, but I'm turning this on and off, you can do that separately, so click on 'Outer Glow', then I can go to this and say, actually I want to make my size bigger, and it gets a bigger halo effect.

'Inner Glow', let's turn that one off, that one on. Just going around the outside it's a little hard to see because it's a white logo. "Bevel and Emboss', you can make it look kind of 3Dish. Not my favorite, but that's alright, you might love it. 'Satin', I don't even know what that does, like 'Bevel and Emboss' but kind of more like a pillow. 'Basic Feather' 'Directional Feather', all of these, you can have a play around with them. I don't use them, you might love them but it's bit of an experimentation, no one that uses 'Drop Shadow' a lot, mainly because, exact same instance we've got here is that this white logo is against the background, and it's maybe just not as clear as we'd like it to be.

So we want to finally lift it off and push it. So we get the white text against the mortal background. And if you want to go further and do some more exciting things, you want to turn into a neon sign doing cool stuff. That will be the job of Photoshop, so what you do is open up this logo in Photoshop, and that is the tool to do more special effects. This just has the real basics here in InDesign, Photoshop will be the one for the more exciting ones.