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About RAL colors

About the RAL color system

RAL is an European color matching system which defines colors for paint, coatings and plastics. The RAL color standard is admini­strated by the RAL Deutsches Institut für Güte­sicherung und Kennzeichnung. 'RAL' is the abbreviation of 'Reichs-Ausschuß für Lieferbedingungen und Gütesicherung'. This name can be translated in English as 'National Commission for Delivery Terms and Quality Assurance'. This website is not affiliated with the official RAL organization.

RAL Classic

In 1927 the German RAL organization invented a collection of 40 colors. Prior to that date manufacturers and customers had to exchange color samples to describe a tint, whereas from then on they would rely on numbers. With tints constantly added to the collection, the collection was revised in 1961. From that moment the color system consists of 213 colors, which is still in use to this day. In the 1960s the colors were given supplemental names to avoid confusion in case of transposed digits.

RAL Design

In 1993 RAL introduced a new color matching system, tailored to the needs of architects, designers and advertisers. The RAL Design collection includes 1,625 colors. The colors of RAL Classic and RAL Design do not intersect.

RAL Effect

RAL Effect comprises 420 solid colors and, as a particular highlight, 70 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.

RAL Plastics

RAL Plastics is the color standard for plastics. The multifunctional plates made of polypropylene ensure the best possible translation of RAL paint color shades into an identical shade for plastics. RAL Plastics P1 contains the 100 favorite RAL Classic colors. RAL Plastics P2 shows 200 RAL Design colors as a plastic standard.

About this website

The website provides an overview of all RAL colors. On this site you find colors which are part of the following RAL collections: RAL Classic, RAL Design, RAL Effect, RAL Plastics P1 and RAL Plastics P2. The colors are divided into categories and you can look up a color using the color name or color code. Through the detail page of each color you can view a full-screen color impression. We also provide information about a color, such as the name (if available also in other languages) and matching color codes (HEX, RGB and CMYK). The website can also be used on smartphones.

Besides the free color information we also offer physical RAL color fan decks for sale. Because computer screens are note able to display the true RAL colors, we recommend to use a physical color fan deck to be sure of the correct color. As a reseller of the official RAL color products we sell both the RAL K7 and RAL K5 color fan deck. The RAL K5 is available in 2 versions: semi matt and gloss. is visited by many visitors everyday. We also target other countries with,,,, and This website is an initiative of Whirlwind Internet, based in Uden (The Netherlands). From this location we ship the color fan decks to our customers on weekdays.

Do you have questions and/or comments? Please feel free to contact us.

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