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Problem: I’m creating a 100% vector icon and I would like to avoid using bitmap drop shadows. This one is pretty easy if you’re using Illustrator CS4 and above as it has the ability to make a gradient from 100% opacity to 0% opacity. If you’re using an older version of Illustrator, then you can make a transparency mask, much like you do in Photoshop. I’ll explain both methods: Method 1: 100% Vector Drop Shadow with Adobe Illustrator CS4 and Above This is fairly simple. Create a shape of the drop shadow you would like to create and apply a radial gradient from 25% black to 0% white. This will make a soft shadow that is supported with formats such as PNG, EPS, AI and PSD.

A radial gradient made with an ellipse from 25% black to 0% white.