How to Add Flat Long Shadow in Adobe Illustrator Tutorial

Today we will take you on a step by step tutorial to help your create perfect flat long shadows in Adobe Illustrator. This effect looks really great on headings, user interface icons and other, creating a 3D aspect. It is a cool design trick to make a block of text stand out, so here is a quick and easy method to create it.

You can create the flat long shadow effect using various software programs, but we prefer Adobe Illustrator because it works with vectors, so you can scale the image in any way, without getting a pixelated effect.

These being said, let us start our tutorial:


1. Open or create the image


You need to start with the flat image that you want to apply the flat long shadow effect to. Start by selecting the respective element. We just picked an icon from iconmoon icons library which you can download for free from here. Then go to the Effect Menu and select the Distort and Transform submenu. Click on the Transform tool.


2. Use the Transform panel


Once you clicked on the tool, you get the Transform panel on screen. Select the Move section of this panel and set 0.5 both for Horizontal and Vertical. Go to the bottom of the panel and set a large number (in the range of 300-400) in the Copies text box.

Select Preview on the Transform panel and you will notice that the flat long shadow extends outside the limits of your image, which is alright.


3. Use the Eyedropper tool


Sample the background color of the image with the Eyedropper tool. Next, change the blend mode of the layer to Multiply and set the Opacity at around 40%.


4. Copy and Paste

Select the element to which the shadow will be applied, copy it and paste it over itself. After this, set the Blend of this layer as Normal and change the Opacity back to 100%.

Go to the Appearance panel next, select Transform and delete it. Next go to Color and set it to the original color of the element (the color before using the Eyedropper tool).


5. Trimming the Excess Shadow

We are nearly done processing the image, but we still have the excess shadow to deal with. The simplest way is to use the Rectangle tool, no fill and no stroke, and apply it outside the entire image. Next, select the element with the shadow, right click, select Make Clipping Mask and then send it one layer back by using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + left bracket.


Job done! You added long flat shadow to your image.


Here you can download for free our source file for this tutorial:


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Ionut B
Digital Art Director with an innovative creative thinking able to translate ideas and concepts into useful and memorable interactive marketing campaigns.

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