I made a page recently that reminded me of an older Daily Digi article called To Shadow or Not to Shadow? That Is the Question. by Katie. In the post she showed us some great examples of when shadowing is optional. Not shadowing works especially well for graphic, clean and minimalist layout designs.
Another reason to choose not to shadow is when you want the paper to look like a part of the background paper or to mimic the look of a rub-on transfer.
Here’s the page that made me think about shadowing. You can see that the central cluster is stacked on top of a few un-shadowed papers:
Here is the same page, magnified to 100 percent, showing the un-shadowed papers with the shadowed papers and elements layered on top:
And another section:
This is a great way to ground a design, especially when the kit you’re using didn’t come with paint or a mask.
To shadow or not to shadow? The choice is all yours! It is absolutely ok to mix un-shadowed and shadowed layers on the same page.