Cast a long shadow.
What are some of the elements that make a logo 3D? Shadows, for one; they add complexity and depth to whatever structure you create. “A little shadow can add dimension,” says Ooyevaar. “If there’s space between the object and the shadow it looks buoyant. You can show the drama of the depth with a shadow.”
But don’t rely on simple shadows alone. Many illustrators think that if they use drop shadows, visual effects that appear to be a shadow of an object, their image automatically becomes three-dimensional. That's not necessarily the case.
“Drop shadows don’t make a 3D logo. Drop shadows can work within the structure of the logo. But people throw up a drop shadow, then all of a sudden they think it’s floating and 3D, but it’s not,” says Lippard.
In order for your shadows to look authentic, avoid premade 3D effects. Play around with flat shapes in Adobe Illustrator to gain a better understanding of how shadows in your logo will look before you start.
Conversely, add highlights to your own 3D logo to make the shadows stand out more. Just remember, don’t overdo it. You don’t want your logo to be too distracting when it’s used, whether on business cards or billboards.
“You have to have a light touch, a little bit goes a long way,” Ooyevaar says.
Find the right angle.
Angles are a crucial element of the 3D effect. They play up the drama of the lifelike appearance that 3D logos attempt to create. Explore different positions to better show range and scope. Use Google to study professional 3D logos and check out how other designers positioned their work. Once you have an idea of what you want to do, push yourself.