Any advice on how to create the shadow effect in the attached image would be much appreciated!

enter image description here


I'd simply use a Gradient Mesh, set to multiply. And set all the mesh points to 0% opacity except a center point used to generate the shadow.

Gradient Mesh Shadow


Another flexible way is given in the Julian's answer to How to “draw” pointed corner drop shadows in Adobe Illustrator CS5. You can control the shape of shadow by controlling the shape who drops the shadow (see the demo. below).

To your requirement, just pull the bottom-center anchor down to make it a little bit convex. I find it a really flexible method of making different drop shadows.

shadows demo


Another, bit more flexible way would be to use the Appearance palette.

  • Add a new fill to your shape, drag it behind the original shape, and make it black.
  • Then use Effect > Convert to Shape > Ellipse... on the black fill, changing it into a really thin, but very broad ellipse that fits behind the original fill. Reducing the original fill's opacity helps here.
  • After that, Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform... and play with Vertical Move until the ellipse is partly visible on the lower rim of your fill.
  • Finally, Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur the black fill and reduce its opacity as you see fit.

(CS3 terms and menus used)

  • Definitely a viable solution. I find, for me, raster effects such as Gaussian Blur are not always a great solution when comparing them to actual editable vectors such as the Gradient mesh. – Scott Aug 10 '12 at 20:38
  • to each their own. I find the gradient mesh a clunky tool, but that's probably because I'm using CS3. – Vincent Aug 13 '12 at 10:10

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