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Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

April, 2005 contains a listing of all 213 RAL classic colors.

What Does "RAL" Color Mean?

Q. What is the full form of RAL - in RAL number and what does it signify?

A. There are two varieties of RAL numbers: The RAL CLASSIC numbers and the RAL DESIGN numbers, which is a more modern version of the RAL system. The CLASSIC numbers are just "numbers" in some broad categories. However, the DESIGN series has a numbering scheme with a scientific significance.

The RAL DESIGN number is made of 3 parts:
H (Hue, an angle between 0 and 360)
L (lightness 0-100)
C (Chroma 0-100)
presented as H L C (with no decimals, i.e.: 240 30 40)

There are 1688 chips or so in the standard RAL DESIGN set.

The HLC values are the SAME as the L*C*h* values determined with Illuminant D65 AND the 10 degrees (CIE 1964) Observer; they are just presented in a different order and rounded at fixed intervals corresponding to (about) minimally perceived color differences.

I hope this answers your question.

Danny Pascale

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