What Are Colour Standards

In the UK, colour standards are used to ensure that various colours can be replicated across multiple surfaces and printed materials. The standardised colour systems allow everyone to understand the same colour references without ambiguity.

There are a variety of colour standards used, although here in the UK the most popular are the BS381C, BS4800, BS2660 standards. However, it is not uncommon to find the European RAL system used.

British Standard Shades

Coatings, especially finish coatings, are often tinted to match the British Standard shades, as within many industries they have become the standardised colour benchmarks.

The BS4800 colours are designed specifically for use within the construction and architectural industries, with each shade characterised by a 5-digit code. This code comprises numbers and letters, which makes it possible to quickly match shades for accuracy.

The BS2660 system was previously used within the building and construction industries to reference paint colours. However, today it has largely been replaced by the BS4800 system. In addition, the BS381C is not as widely used as the BS4800 system. It is largely a system used by the military and other government institutions when specifying colours for coding, identification, and other special purposes.

RAL Shades

The European RAL system contains approximately 2000 variations, although roughly only 200 RAL classic colours are commonly used here within industrial uses in the UK. The colours are provided with a 4-digit code, with the initial number used to distinguish between colour groups.

The system was originally developed in Germany, where it was used within the German railway system. The codes enabled the railway to reference codes when placing orders, but today the system is widely adopted throughout Europe and beyond.

Pantone Shades

The US Pantone shade system is used within the printing, graphic design, plastic, and textile industries. Although, it is occasionally used within the coating industry where an item needs to accurately match a business’s corporate branded colours. The Pantone shades are available to view in a fan format, which makes it much easier to compare and decide colour options.

Here at KUE Group, we are committed to offering industry-leading steel surface preparation and coating and lining technology. Whatever your coating colour requirements, we guarantee to offer colour matching with no ambiguity. To find out more about our services, please contact us today.

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