5 Replies Latest reply on Jul 2, 2010 11:55 AM by $Alphadog

    RAL Pallete

    $Alphadog Level 1

      I have need of a RAL Color


      One particular color we've needed is a safety orange RAL 2010.  When I try to convert that to CMYK or RGB, I get 4 different results depending on which web site I use.  I might get more but I stopped looking at that point.  Some are more red, darker, lighter, yellower, browner, bluer, upsidedown, or backwards. Which one is right?


      We will be upgrading from CS3 to CS5 later this year, we think, along with going to 64 bit computers.  Is there a RAL Swatch Pallete available in CS5.


      Can anyone advise?

        • 1. Re: RAL Pallete
          Monika Gause Adobe Community Professional & MVP
          • 2. Re: RAL Pallete
            Mylenium Most Valuable Participant
            Which one is right?


            Neither. For all intents and purposes, RAL colors are realworld colors (as in FS colors for paints), not even print-specific spot colors, so anything on screen can at best be an approximation. Safety orange cannot be simulated properly, anyway. It's a reflective luminescensce color just like DayGlo orange.



            • 3. Re: RAL Pallete
              Gernot Hoffmann Level 3

              Meanwhile, RAL colors are defined by Lab = CIELab values.

              A subset can be found here:



              Ignore the unspecified RGB-values, use only Lab. I didn't check

              the Lab numbers.


              Whether a RAL color is out-of-gamut in any other color space

              can be tested by Photoshop:


              Make New doc1 in Lab

              Specify foreground color by Lab values


              Duplicate doc1 --> doc2  for a comparison


              Select doc1 for soft.proofing


              View > Proof setup (choose any RGB or CMYK space)


              View > Proof color (for a visual comparison of doc1 and doc2).

              If the color is out-of-gamut for the monitor (maybe near to sRGB),

              then the test is not reliable. If differences are observed, then this

              indicates problems to be expected.


              View > Gamut warning (out-of-gamut in target space is indicated

              by an alarm color of your choice). This is a reliable test, but it's

              sometimes too 'strict'.


              RAL colors are defined for varnish in 'real world'. Like for any other

              real world colors, a description by CIELab is well suited (except

              for fluorescent colors and colors with other effects like metallic).


              Search further (Google) by  both words 'CIELab'  'RAL' simulta-


              Complete color bases with varnish samples and data systems

              for Lab, including newer developments like RAL Designer may not

              be available for free.


              Best regards --Gernot Hoffmann

              • 4. Re: RAL Pallete
                Gernot Hoffmann Level 3

                According to the link in my recent post, Signal Orange RAL 2010

                has Lab values L=54.2, a=41.4, b=46.2.

                This is in-gamut for sRGB and for the common offset color space

                ISOcoated-v2-eci (or just ISOCoated, doesn't matter).


                It's a rather dull orange!


                Color software as mentioned by Monika Gause (1), by me (2) or

                here (3)



                isn't necessarily compatible with Photoshop or Adobe CS#.


                Adobe CS# uses for the CIELab conversions the CIE standard

                observer 2° and reference light D50. The mentioned color software

                uses at least definitely in case (3) the 10° observer with reference

                light D65.


                This post is more a case for the color management forum.

                Sorry for bothering the folks here, eventually.


                Everything could be fine, if I didn't measure RAL 2010 in my

                real world RAL swatch book. Here I found by two instruments the

                value b=60, approximately - instead of b=46.


                Best regards - Gernot Hoffmann

                • 5. Re: RAL Pallete
                  $Alphadog Level 1

                  Thanks Gernot and others

                  .  I need to do some research to figure out what you are talking about,

                  but I appreciate the response. :-)  When I get over the hump, I'll have time to do that. I do get that RAL does not neccessarily lend itself to digital, I'll cope.

                  The color RAL 2010 is specified in ISO 3864-2 Annex E as the safety orange.  I am writing/illustrating an equipment manual and need to format safety notices for the text. (pictograms drawn in AI).