How to Add a Drop Shadow in Affinity Designer

If you are new to digital designs or you’ve just never bothered with using text before, trying to find the settings for drop shadows can seem confusing. Affinity designer has a lot of menus and features so it can be a bit of a pain.

This is a step-by-step guide on how to properly add the drop shadow. Not only though, but we’ll be covering how different settings can change and enhance the shadow!

1. Type Your Text Out

Type out your text in Affinity Designer. You can change the font as well until you find exactly what you are looking for. Drop shadows can be added to any font. It will look better with some over others.

2. Select Font Color

Drop shadows are normally darker than the font chosen. The colors need to be contrasting. So, if the main text is lighter then the drop shadow should be dark. If the colors are too similar it may appear unappealing.

The contrast will really help make it pop. Feel free to play around with the colors though.

3. Select Outer Shadows

On the right side of the screen, you will see a menu that says layers, effects, styles, text styles, and stock. Select effects and from there you will see some options, but you are looking for something called “outer shadows”, this is how you create the drop shadow.

4. Set the Options for the Effect You Like

So, this part is where you get into the creative side of the drop show. You can do some absolutely awesome things by changing some of these settings. Other than the offset tool, you can use the sliders on all of these options to see the changes as they are happening.


Now, you can play around with the opacity of the shadow. If you want it darker, turn the opacity up. The more you lower opacity, the more transparent the shadow will become. This is something you can play with to get the desired effect.

Shadow Size

This is referred to as the radius. If you turn the radius up, you’ll see the shadow get bigger. It also creates a sort of blurry effect the more you increase it. If you want to keep the lines clean, turn the radius down.

The increased radius can sometimes look a little funny if you move the shadow a little bit, which we’ll cover shortly.

Moving Shadows

This is called the offset. When you turn the offset all the way up, you’ll see that the shadow makes the text appear to have more depth. If you turn it all the way down, the shadow is no longer visible.

You can also use the offset tool. If you select it, you’ll be able to move it around the page and put it anywhere you want. This is effective if you’d like to move it around to get more of an effect that doesn’t happen by default.

Play with this tool a little bit and have fun seeing some of the cool ways the drop shadow can enhance the text you have.


This will be the option called angle. With the angle, you can change where the light would appear to come from so it changes the direction of the shadow. It is the circle underneath “offset” that has a degree number inside of it.

You can manually type in a specific angle if you know how you want it to look. You can also move the line inside the circle in order to test how the different angles appear to be.

Fill Opacity

If you look right above where the opacity slider is, you’ll see something called “fill-opacity” with a percentage in it. This affects the actual text itself. So, you could turn down that opacity as much as you’d like, but the shadow will remain the same.

This is another option that is really fun to experiment with and see some of the awesome effects you can make by simply changing a small option.


There you have it! You have gone through the entire process of how to create drop shadows and what each effect does. Combine all this together and you will definitely find a way to make your text project look incredible.

Remember, if this is your first time using drop shadows, sometimes things may appear to be a little unattractive. It may take some time, along with trial and error to get the desired appearance that you really want.