RAL color standard
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (June 2010)|
RAL color space system 
RAL Classic 
In 1927 the German Reichs-Ausschuß für Lieferbedingungen und Gütesicherung" (Imperial Commission for Delivery Terms and Quality Assurance) invented a collection of 40 colors under the name of "RAL 840". Prior to that date manufacturers and customers had to exchange samples to describe a tint, whereas from then on they would rely on numbers.
In the 1930s the numbers were changed uniformly to four digits and the collection was renamed to "RAL 840 R" (R for revised). With tints constantly added to the collection, it was revised again in 1961 and changed to "RAL 840-HR", which consists of 210 colors and is in use to this day. In the 1960s the colors were given supplemental names to avoid confusion in case of transposed digits.
As "RAL 840-HR" covered only matte paint the 1980s saw the invention of "RAL 841-GL" for glossy surfaces, limited to 193 colors. A main criterion for colors in the RAL Classic collection is to be of "paramount interest". Therefore most of the colors in it are used on warning and traffic signs or are dedicated to government agencies and public services (for example: RAL 1004 - Swiss Postal Service, RAL 1021 - Austrian Postal Service, RAL 1032 - German Postal Service). The first digit relates to the shade of the color:
|RAL 1xxx||Yellow||RAL 1000 Green Beige||RAL 1037 Sun Yellow||40|
|RAL 2xxx||Orange||RAL 2000 Yellow Orange||RAL 2013 Pearl Orange||14|
|RAL 3xxx||Red||RAL 3000 Flame Red||RAL 3033 Pearl Pink||34|
|RAL 4xxx||Violet||RAL 4001 Red Lilac||RAL 4012 Pearl Black Berry||12|
|RAL 5xxx||Blue||RAL 5000 Violet Blue||RAL 5026 Pearl Night Blue||25|
|RAL 6xxx||Green||RAL 6000 Patina Green||RAL 6038 Luminous Green||36|
|RAL 7xxx||Grey||RAL 7000 Squirrel Grey||RAL 7048 Pearl Mouse Grey||38|
|RAL 8xxx||Brown||RAL 8000 Green Brown||RAL 8029 Pearl Copper||20|
|RAL 9xxx||White/Black||RAL 9001 Cream||RAL 9023 Pearl Dark Grey||14|
RAL F9 
This collection, which follows the naming of RAL Classic, was invented in 1984. It is made up of only 3 colors (RAL 6031 - bronze, RAL 8027 - leather, RAL 9021 - tar), used by the Bundeswehr for military camouflage coating.
RAL Design 
In 1993 a new color matching system was introduced, tailored to the needs of architects, designers and advertisers. It started with 1688 colors and was revised to 1625 colors. Contrary to the preceding systems RAL Design features no names and its numbering follows a scheme based on the CIELAB color space. Each color is represented by 7 digits, grouped in a triple and 2 pairs, representing hue, brightness and saturation. The colors of RAL Classic and RAL Design do not intersect.
RAL Effect 
RAL Effect comprises 420 solid colors and, as a particular highlight, seventy metallic colors. It is the first collection from RAL to be based on waterborne paint systems. No use is made of heavy metals such as lead, cadmium and chromates.
The newly developed, multifunctional double color fan RAL E2 underlines the character of RAL Effect. RAL Effect allows eco-efficient color production for all paint and lacquer producers.
RAL Digital 
The software for architects, interior decorators and all those who deal with colors in a creative way. It integrates the colors of RAL Classic, RAL Effect and RAL Design into graphics and CAD programms.
RAL Colour Feeling 
"Colour Feeling 09/10" is primarily designed as a professional planning tool for designers, architects, interior designers, interior decorators and painters. It is meant to be a source of inspiration on how to creatively combine the main trend colors for the coming two years. But also general consumers can be inspired by the work book to develop their own ideas and to create their personal color design.
See also 
- Official RAL Colors website
- RAL color chart (www.ralcolor.com)
- multilingual (DE,EN,FR,ES,IT,NL) list of RAL Classic colors
- web approximation of RAL Classic Color Chart for full screen
- RGB color chart with RAL conversion
- RAL color chart (ralcolor.net)
- Android App for recognize RAL colors
- RAL Classic Color Chart (ralcolors.net)
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