When adding shadows and dimensions to letters, there are quite a few routes you can take. Start with something as simple as a drop line. Then turn that line into a clean drop shadow, which you can add some shading to later.

For extra depth you can add some inner shadows to your letters or if you’re feeling adventurous you can play with some bevels, too. 

Sounds fun, right? Let’s take a look at each option, starting from the easiest, with quick tips on how to achieve each look.

But before we begin, keep this essential rule in mind: when creating shadows it’s important to define a light source and stick to it throughout the design to maintain a consistent look. 

Drop Line 

The drop line is probably the simplest and quickest way to give your letters some dimension. 

You simply have to trace a line near your main letters. If this is your first time doing this, it will help to duplicate the layer that contains the letters. Drag its opacity down and slightly move it to the side. 

On a new layer, trace the edges of the shifted layer, then delete the low opacity one. 

Just make sure that when you draw your initial letters you leave enough space between them for the drop line. 

If you’re using pen and paper, try working with tracing paper at first. That way, you can just use the papers as guides, just like you would with the layers.  These methods work best if you want to make aesthetic sticker printing.