Shadow as an element in logo design is critical in so many ways. I’ve created full chapters discussing how shadow came about as such an important component to designers. It foretells events or gives a sense of place. They can display aspirations or other yet-to-be-determined assets. They identify the direction of light and tell if you’re enlightened or if you are enlightening others. In a more literal sense, they can also show dimension and spatial relationships. Cross a vertical and a horizontal line and a bit of shadow defines who’s on top. Draft a flat tonal horse, and two of the legs may go a bit darker. Bet those are the back legs.
Occasionally, we as designers can be trapped by our own technique. If you missed it, you’re not alone. Each of these and many other marks of recent contain a shadow of such infinitesimal dimension that their inclusion seem out of place. Even where it does appear to provide critical separation as in the Trustpilot star, I’m left wondering if the effort is grand enough to function well when scaled down. Here’s a modest piece of advice. If it requires an effect, make sure it doesn’t require reading glasses to accompany.