Friday: The Red Zone

Dorathy Gilchrist

Learn 5 Hot Ways to Use Red on Your Layouts


In football, the red zone is home to some of the most important plays of the game. On your layout, red can be a star player for important plays as well. Here are five tips to show you how.


Off Season

Red + Green = ? If you're thinking December holidays, take a practice lap around the field of ideas to warm up your creative juices. When it comes to this color pair, there are many options. On her "Fashionista" layout, Kathi Kirkland mixes red, green, and black in a classy way that illustrates her mother's sense of style. She even uses a red flower on a red background, adding a subtle dimension that accentuates the white flower piece in the center of the red.

Creativity Challenge: Use a red-green color scheme on a non-holiday layout.


In Season

When football is off season, Mother Nature's color magic is most definitely in season. The next time you're outside in the spring or just looking at a picture of the more colorful times of the year, notice the red around you. What colors has Mother Nature already decided go well together? Allsion Davis uses the reds, yellows, and greens from a watermelon to design her "Tasty Summer Treat" layout.

Creativity Challenge: Mimic Mother Nature's color schemes.



Don't let overwhelming colors deliver a foul on your next layout. You don't need a lot of red to make an impression. In "Seashells," C.D. Muckosky only uses one clipping of red fabric and some red buttons and thread. These red pieces draw our eyes to the photo without distracting from the blue-sky motif.

Creativity Challenge: Use only a small amount of red to accent a layout.


When it comes to teaming with red, there are three Most Valuable Colors that can always be counted on for a creative win: yellow, blue, and green. Combining the four colors is an easy way to bring a sense of fun to any layout, as seen on the "The Birthday Girl" layout by Suzy Plantamura. If a bright look isn't what you're going for, tone the colors down to pastels, or darken them to go with masculine layouts.

Creativity Challenge: Use a red, blue, yellow, and green color combination in shades suited to your subject.

Overtime Bonus Technique: Go for the Red All the Way

And sometimes, all you need is red. There's no doubt that Julie Fei-Fan Balzer loves New York City. Rather than use patterned, or even colored paper, on this layout she creates her own background with red buttons and rub-ons. This technique adds great texture and dimension to the story of a city known for standing out.

Creativity Challenge: Create a background using embellishments.


It's Challenge Time!

Take one of these five creative challenges and upload photos of your projects to our online gallery.


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