I am designing a game card template and somewhat got forward pretty well. But now I am stuck on a detail with a symbol/relief in the middle of the design. This symbol is overlapping the bottom part and the top part.

enter image description here

On the bottom part I managed to cast a drop shadow that looks "ok" for me (image reference 3.). However the top part of that circle looks weird (image reference 1.) and does not fit with the black outlines I did with he other parts (image reference 2.). It tried to apply this outline to the symbol/relief as well but it always looks weird and very pixelated in comparison to the rectangle border lines.

Any suggestions how I can make this appear composed with the other style?


You wrote you have already seen a shadow is helpful. Shadow needs light and you can make that light illuminate the upper edge (1) to make its effect symmetric.

enter image description here

Sorry, this screenshot is from Photoshop, but it doesn't change the idea.


Try to represent light phenomenon, known as ambient occlusion, more accurately. Also you should define bevels on edges. This is part of your card recreated with Inkscape.

ambient occlusion on door


Personal opinion: It doesn't need anything, including that "canned" drop shadow. The brown is of high enough contrast that it separates fine.

If you must include something, use the thin dark brown rule you have around the rest of that mid-brown color.

enter image description here

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