RAL and NCS colors

RAL and NCS colors

Ral color palette and NCS color coding are widely used in the window industry, as well as in other productive fields and in printing.
RAL codes are made of 4 digits, grouped by the thousands according to colour families:
1xxx Yellow: from RAL 1000-Green Beige to RAL 1034-Pastel White
2xxx Orange: from RAL 2000-Yellow Orange to RAL 2013-Pearl Orange
3xxx Red: from RAL 3000-Flame Red to RAL 3031-Orient Red
4xxx Violet: from RAL 4001-Red Lilac to RAL 4012-Pearl Blackberry
5xxx Blue: from RAL 5000-Violet Blue to RAL 5026-Pearl Night Blue
6xxx Green: from RAL 6000-Patina Green to RAL 6038-Luminous Green
7xxx Grey: from RAL 7000-Squirrel Grey to RAL 7048-Pearl Mouse Grey
8xxx Brown: from RAL 8000-Green Brown to RAL 8029-Pearl Copper
9xxx White/Black: from RAL 9001-Cream to RAL 9023-Pearl Dark Grey

When speaking of windows and doors, RAL colours in common use are:

RAL 1013 oyster white

RAL 6005 moss green

RAL 6009 fir green

RAL 7016 anthracite grey

RAL 3003 ruby red

RAL 9001 cream white

RAL 9003 signal white

RAL 9005 jet black

RAL 9010 pure white

RAL 9016 traffic white







The NCS palette (Natural Color System) derives from a perceptual chromatic system, modeled as a biconic three-dimensional space. It has been created by the Scandinavian Colour Institute of Stockholm.
It is based on the human eye colour vision system, which is sensitive to the opposition among the six fundamental complementary colours: white, black, yellow, red, blue, and green.

Colours are defined by three values, which specify the quantity of blackness, the chromaticity and a percentage value between two fundamental colours green, blue, red, and yellow. For instance, the colour “Brilliant red” is identified by the code S 1085-Y80R, where 1085 stands for a 10% blackness and a 85% saturation, and Y80R means a colour between yellow (Y) and red (R), with a quantity of red of 80%.

The difference between the two systems is that the first catalogues a narrow and arbitrary set of about 2000 well-defined and standard hues. On the other hand, the second provides a code that univocally defines all of the 10 million colours that the human eye can distinguish.

Moreover, being a system based on opponent colours, it helps finding matching colours by similarity or contrast. However, the RAL palette is still the most used in industrial paints and colours.