Can Color Change Your Physical Abilities?

Jude Stewart writes for our sister publication, Print magazine. One area that she focuses on is color and the stories that she writes makes color look a lot more unbalanced and disingenuous than most would imagine.

Recently, she wrote about a psychiatric study in 1979 that found the unassuming color pink could actually make hardened criminals become subdued simply by adding it to their cell:pink55

“[Drunk Tank Pink] stems from a 1979 psychiatric study in which 150 strapping young men were asked to stare at a card colored either blue or pink, then take a strength test. Those who gazed on blue apparently amplified their own strength by doing so, while the pink-starers seemed weakened just by gazing at pink. Pink’s supposed tranquilizing effect rapidly gained currency among psychologists of the day. Two corrections officers, Gene Baker and Ron Miller, daubed holding cells in their respective facilities a bubble-gum shade, reported an immediate subduing effect, and boom: Baker-Miller Pink, aka Drunk Tank Pink, became the prison industry’s latest brainwave. Enthusiasm for Drunk Tank Pink colored the efforts of charities (donations increased when charity workers donned the color) and football coaches (painting the competition’s locker room pink gave the enemy a distinct disadvantage) through the 1990s,” said Stewart.

Drunk Tank Pink was written by NYU Professor Adam Alter who added some interesting observations to Stewart’s story, “‘I’m color-blind, so I’ve always been attuned to the question of how different people perceive colors and how those colors go on to shape their interactions with the world,” Alter continued. “We know, for example, that people who wear red fare better on dating websites, athletes who wear black are called for more penalties, and teachers are more critical and find more errors in written work when they use red pens.'”


Are you ready to try out some of Alter’s theories? Color Inspirations, written by Darius A. Monsef IV, boasts more than 3,000 innovative color palette ideas. It is available at HOW’s official online store – – and sold as both a hardcover , currently being offered at 34 percent off retail, or an ebook. Get 50 percent off the ebook by using the promo code ebook50.

Color Inspirations is a collection of over 3000 color palette ideas from the award-winning website/community The palettes in the book are also available on a bonus CD (included) so you can quickly download any color palette idea you like straight into whatever design program you use!

colorindexIncluded in the purchase is Jim Krause’s Color Index and Color Index 2, with over 2600 color combinations in CMYK and RGB and they are directly importable into InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop (a $34.99 value for free with purchase).

Your free swatch library will be delivered automatically via email upon completion of checkout. No need to add it to your cart!

What else can you expect? In Color Inspirations you’ll find:

  • 3,286 beautiful and inspiring color palette ideas
  • Accurate CMYK and HEX values for each color
  • A bonus CD with every color palette ready to import straight to your computer
  • colorindex2An in-depth primer on color theory
  • 10 inspirational (and very informative) articles all about color
  • And so much more!

Become a color expert and gain insight into ways to positively affect your audience.