Colour Card – RAL

A very brief history of RAL Colours

There is a timeline for the RAL colour system and if we go by chronologically, we will understand its importance.

RAL Classic chart essentials

Initially, the German organization RAL invented around 40 colours in 1927. Before the introduction of the RAL Classic manufacturers and customers had no clear way to describe colours to each other and simply had to rely on exchanging the tints they wanted. The Classic system gave people a much easier way to exchange colour information. As tints keep developing, a lot of new ones were added and in 1961, it was revised to consist of 213 tints. To avoid the confusion of transposed digits the colours were given supplemental names. In the 1980s, a new variant of the RAL Classic was developed, called the RAL 841 GL for glossy surfaces and it was limited to 193 colours.

A brief overview of RAL Classic colour shades

The arrangement of RAL Classic shades

The RAL Classic colours come with a four-digit number and the letters RAL. The first digit is the system code for 9 classic shades, which are: 1 is yellow, 2 is orange, 3 is red, 4 is purple, 5 is blue, 6 is green, 7 is grey, 8 is brown, and 9 is white and black. Each of these shades has many other colours associated with it.

The colours shown on this web-site are for guidance only and will vary depending on monitor and browser type. Colours shown should not be taken as a representation of the true colours or finish of the products.
In addition, the colours represented in the products available from this site may vary from the standard colour references (e.g. RAL, British Standard etc.) or from other products of the same colour designation. GC Johnson’s does not accept responsibility for any variation in colour or finish between product ranges and/or suppliers or from variations in colour or finish between or within batches of product from the same supplier nor for any unintended errors on the website/colour database.