We have carried out experiments and simulations to optimize the materials and processes for fabricating holographically formed polymer dispersed liquid crystal (HPDLC) devices. Bright reflective HPDLC displays with peak reflection above 60% have been achieved with fast, sub-millisecond (tau) ON + (tau) OFF switching speed. The switching voltage has been reduced by more than a factor of 2 by selecting appropriate liquid crystal and polymer materials and by the addition of surfactants. The viewing angle of HPDLCs has been extended by a novel fabrication technique. We have fabricated color HPDLC demonstration displays by stacking red, green, and blue HPDLC layers and have achieved the widest color gamut that has ever been reported for a reflective display. The methods for making these novel color reflective displays and the measured are presented.© (1999) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.