I'm working on a mockup of a jQuery slider which can be found here.

Now, I'm not the best graphic designer by any stretch of the imagination, and I can't seem to be able to get a realistic looking shadow. What I want is for the phone to appear as if it's standing on its side, but all of my attempts in Photoshop usually result in the phone looking like it's floating at a weird angle.

What I've tried so far (and failed at):

  • Added an elipse near the bottom of the phone and blurred it. This sorta worked but just doesn't look right.
  • Added a rectangle and did the same as the previous bullet, but this looked worse.
  • Tried using a drop shadow layer effect. This looked horrible.

Can anyone give me some suggestions?

  • What type of shadow are you after? Do you want the phone to appear as though it's lying flat on a surface or standing on it's side? – Scott Apr 22 '12 at 20:12
  • @scott I want it to appear as if it's standing on its side. – HellaMad Apr 22 '12 at 20:14

EDIT: [ After looking again, something was just not right.... So, the first thing I would do is rotate the phone 180°. It won't sit on the buttons therefore the buttons need to be on top. ]


The key is the initial shape. Narrower at the base of the phone then slightly wider at the lower edge. You want to start with a trapezoid.

Shadow Shape

Add Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur


Lower opacity to your liking.


For additional realism add a second shadow smaller and slightly darker above the first shadow.

Second Shadow

| improve this answer | |
  • Great, exactly what I was looking for! Thanks. – HellaMad Apr 22 '12 at 20:29
  • Glad to help :) – Scott Apr 22 '12 at 20:33
  • I noticed it looked odd sitting on the buttons too :p Fixed it, and adding the shadow in now. Thanks again for the help! – HellaMad Apr 23 '12 at 1:35
  • Ehm, you're adding depth/perspective for a shadow beneath a flat object? – kaiser Apr 24 '12 at 19:20
  • 1
    @kaiser Question was how to add a shadow to existing image. Not how to reshoot the photo. – Scott Apr 24 '12 at 20:16

Your designs look good, but you're looking for something else, right?

Just for inspiration, here's a good Apple-like rendition of an iPhone: http://designerstoolbox.com/designresources/iphone/

It has the reflection-thingy going on, and to accomplish that, just look at the free downloadable PSD. I hope that gets you going in the direction you want to go.

| improve this answer | |

Don't forget that a shadow will cast a reflection back onto the telephone itself. This will "ground " or anchor the object, make it more realistic and stop it from looking like it's floating.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.