Wherever I see shadows being used, I always get the feel the designer is not just using the Drop Shadow effect but something more to give the object dimension and weight, almost like a bevel, but I can never put my finger on it, and I certainly don't know how to recreate it. Anyone know any standard procedures in doing this?
I was just being an asshole, but yes it's something pretty easy to achieve. The shadows shown on the original image are way better but you get the ideia..
For the text you set its opacity to 0% and apply dropshadows (on the new version of photoshop you can simply add a new layer of shadows in the layer style panel by pressing the button "+" if you're using an older version of PS simply duplicate the text layer and change it for a bigger and weaker shadow (for this example i used 3 shadows, so you would need 3 text layers in this case) .
By the way i really like his color pallette , you might wanna check this book "Color Matching: Using Color in Graphic Design" it has some interessting color combinations.
I hope i've helped anon
The thing is, I managed to recreate the gradient/shadow pretty easily in Illustrator (even though I had to do so through barbaric means, clipping masks and 0% transparencies don't seem to play nice with shadows so I had a copy of the text with a drop shadow, behind the text clipping mask over a copy of the gradient background).
But I couldn't recreate the Z-axis thickness of the letters, the "punchiness" which your image also lacks. Mine and yours came out sharp and thin, whereas the original feels weighty, thick, and rounded. The entire letter is legible even on points with no shadows, whereas ours spill over into the background.
I've blown up both to try to dissect the brighter "bevel" I think I'm seeing around the edges and found out there seems to be a paper like texture to the lettering, which I didn't notice at the original size. The gradient on the lettering also seems like it doesn't match the background exactly, but rather that the bright area reaches farther to the right, but the letters would be legible even if that was not the case.
It's a small thing but I feel like it's a big element in making the shadows look "professional".
ah! good eye anon .. try to do this:
I've added a bevel and emboss and set it to 1px and the highlight to 5% and the shadow to 0%
then i've added a gradient from white to transparent with 10% opacity.
Here you go. I also noticed I didn't add grain to my image, I wanted to do it to the PNG instead of as a layer but forgot, here's a diagonally cut comparison of grain and without. It's 1% Gaussian Noise.