RAL is a German company. In 1925, German industry together with the government of the time decided to standardise and define the quality requirements for selected products and ensured that adherence to these requirements was monitored. The foundation of the “ReichsAusschuss für Lieferbedingungen” (National Board for Delivery Conditions) – since known as RAL, established an independent institution. To this day they are responsible for the approval of RAL Gütezeichen (Quality Marks).
It is an umbrella organisation for all Quality Assurance Associations, and is the independent institution responsible for the creation of quality assurance processes in Germany. They have since branched into several sub companies to provide quality marks (labels) for the environment, logos, and colours.
One sub company, RAL Farben (Colours) have been standardising and labelling colours and colour tones since 1927. The Classic range was the first one launched.
They are considered to be the leading colour standard for automotive, aerospace, architecture and design. Many prominent companies specify their brand colours in RAL numbers and use them for their vehicles and buildings. You will often find industrial paint, powder coat, epoxy resins, plastics, varnishes and lacquer coatings specified in RAL colours.