Thursday, 27 February 2014

Play | Long, flat shadow-ish logo design

Just a quick making-of for the title banner of this blog, or logo if you like. It is of course heavily inspired by the long, flat shadow trend (which incidentally seems to be petering out). Not everyone is a fan but if the shadow isn't too overpowering I find it can be quite tasteful. Long, flat shadows (there has to be a better, shorter name) is an off-shoot of the flat design trend, visible in for example iPhone's iOS 7 and Windows 8. I believe the general consensus is that the UIs of smart phones and tablets have been instrumental in the increasing popularity of flat design.

A quick glance at the logo, however, shows that I didn't stick to the basic principle of flat design in the slightest. In that it isn't... flat. I experimented a bit and found that adding a bit of depth (a gradient over the letters and a gradual transparency to the shadows) actually worked nicely with the simplicity of the rest.

I used a nice, royal blue for the background:

The typefaces are Geddes (a Futura-like, art-deco font, available for free) for the letters and Riesling for the ampersand. I gave them a light greyish-beige colour. Once I was satisfied with the look of things I merged all text layers into one vector shape. 

To create the illusion of depth, a dark grey to white gradient was added to the vector shape, set at 50 % opacity:

There are a number of ways to create the long shadow. In this case I simply copied the vector shape layer, rasterised it and filled the shape with a darker blue. After that it is a matter of moving it one pixel down and one pixel to the right. Using one tap of the down and right arrows is the easiest here. After each move, copy the layer and repeat. After a while you might want to copy a larger selection of shadow layers to add more shadow in one swoop, as long as you take care to line it up with the rest. 

To make the whole thing lighter and keep the attention focussed on the centre of the image I added a gradient layer mask to the shadow:

And that's it! A bit time-consuming, but simple.

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