Recently, I was faced with a graphic dilemma. I needed to Place an Illustrator logo (File > Place) into a Frame that had a color Fill. I wanted the logo to have a soft Drop Shadow, which would darken the Fill of the Frame that contained it. At the same time, I wanted the Frame itself to have a separate Drop Shadow, which would darken the background beneath the Frame. Is this possible without having to draw two Frames?
Yes! Select your placed logo with the Direct Selection tool (A) and apply the shadow (Object > Drop Shadow). This will apply a shadow to just the logo itself, not the Frame, and the shadow will be cast on the Fill of the Frame. Now select the Frame with the Selection tool (V) and apply a second Drop Shadow to the entire Frame. The Filled Frame will cast a second shadow on the background. Remember though, if the Frame was not Filled, the placed logo would have two shadows. Hmm! That’s another tip!
Tip provided by Jeff Witchel, Certified Adobe® Training Provider.