Rakke Coat-of-Arms

I first became interested in heraldry when I was very young. It started with an interest in history and reading history books for children. I always enjoyed seeing the drawings of knights with their coats-of-arms on their shields. Of course, I didn’t know at the time that heraldry was a thing. I didn’t even know that they were given to represent persons or families, I just knew I liked the knights with their painted shields and tabards.

I first got serious about heraldry when I was studying in England. I wanted to create a coat-of-arms for myself as a self-initiated project at university. But I never became satisfied with the result. A failed project at the time. After returning to Norway I went into service at the Norwegian Armed Forces Media Centre where I was a graphic designer and assistant to the Chief of Defence’s Heraldic Adviser. I learnt, through him and other experts in the field, the details of heraldic study and practise, and they introduced me to the Norwegian Heraldry Society, of which I promptly became a member. This is when I decided it was time to revisit that failed project.

A coat of arms is like a silent name. It goes without saying, then, that a coat-of-arms should mean something to the armiger. My arms are derived from a few different things. The blue field symbolises my family’s maritime past. The meaning of the chevron and the suns are intertwined. My family comes from a part of Norway known for its sunny weather, additionally my great-grandfather had a house built which was named Solbu (Sunhome). It was given that name because of a wrought-iron gate my grandfather made which features a rising sun. The chevron symbolises that house as it looks like a gable roof. 

Blazon: Azure, a chevron Argent between three suns Or.  (A silver chevron between three golden suns on a blue field). For the purposes of using it as a logo i have also made a b/w version to be used when appropriate.

Blazon: Azure, a chevron Argent between three suns Or. (A silver chevron between three golden suns on a blue field).
For the purposes of using it as a logo i have also made a b/w version to be used when appropriate.

So, in the end, what’s the use of a coat-of-arms? It is not something anyone needs anymore. There are no longer knights fighting each other in tourneys or in great battles. The aristocracy, in most countries, have been abolished long ago. The way I see it, it isn’t about any of these things. It’s about placing a symbol above me. A reminder that whatever I do reflects on that symbol and in turn, on my family. It’s also a fun way to entertain my own vanity.

Year in Review 2018

I want 2019 to be a year where I produce content for my long neglected website and make it a place where people can get to know me and my work better. To start off the year I will share some highlights and metrics I’ve tracked in 2018. For the curious ones, the written content you can be looking forward to in 2019 are book reviews, product reviews, history, heraldry, and design articles.


  • Military Police vehicle redesign

  • Official Norwegian sign for military activity

  • Job at Kongsberg Gruppen (temporary)

  • Rakke Coat-of-Arms

  • Climbed Gaustatoppen

Military Police vehicle redesign:

Photo: Olav Anders Baugstø Evang / Forsvaret

Photo: Olav Anders Baugstø Evang / Forsvaret

I served as a graphic designer at the Norwegian Armed Forces media centre and started the year halfway through that service. At this point I was getting to work on bigger projects and was lucky enough to be tasked with designing the new vehicles for the Norwegian Armed Forces Military Police. There was a genuine need for the new vehicles to stand out on the road, as their earlier vehicles was routinely mistaken for civil cars. 

Official Norwegian sign for military activity:

Photo: Personal. Before assembly.

Photo: Personal. Before assembly.

Following on from the military police vehicles I was tasked with designing an official sign for military activity, in partnership with the Norwegian Public Roads Administration, the National Police Directorate and the Military Police Battalion. I made a tank icon in a simple style sent it to the roads administration who decided to use it instead of their own suggestion. The sign was used during exercise Trident Juncture 2018, when Norway hosted 50 000 NATO soldiers, to ensure public safety within and around exercise and combat areas and will continue to be used for the foreseeable future.

Job at Kongsberg Gruppen (temporary):

Shortly before my military service was at an end I applied for a job to fill in for the branding and graphic design manager in Kongsberg Gruppen for one year. I decided to apply because of the many similarities between the organisational structure of Kongsberg Gruppen and the Norwegian Armed Forces and with a hope to be able to put the company on my CV. I was surprised, due to my lack of experience, to be called in for an interview. I left the interview with a very good feeling and was offered the job shortly thereafter. I work now with managing the visual profile on a corporate level.

Rakke Coat-of-Arms:

My lifelong interest in heraldry has had me wanting to make my personal (or family) coat-of-arms. That I got to work with leading Norwegian experts on heraldry during my time in the Norwegian Armed Forces helped me acquire the necessary skills to make one. The most difficult thing, however, has been deciding on colours and style. It has taken more than a year (1 year & 3 months to be precise) to become satisfied with my coat-of-arms. Part of that is due to time (I’ve come to identify more and more with it) and the other part is due to finding a style I like. The creation of my coat-of-arms will be presented in more detail in its own post later this January. For now though, you can see it in the top left corner of the website.

Climbed Gaustatoppen:

Photo: Personal. Taken on a hike the day after we ascended the peak.

Photo: Personal. Taken on a hike the day after we ascended the peak.

As part of a military exercise I climbed, together with other soldiers from the Oslo Garrison, Gaustatoppen. A mountain in Rjukan, Norway. A town made famous for its importance during WWII (dedicated post coming later this year). From the peak you can see an area of approximately 60 000 km², 1/6th of Norway’s landmass. We ascended the peak in fog and and light snowfall, however, and could barely see 100 meters ahead of us at some points. Gaustatoppen is 1 883m high, and the rocky pathway to the summit is considered to be of medium difficulty in the summer.

Some 2018 metrics:

  • 12 094km travelled by train

  • 11 293km travelled by car

  • 4 handwritten letters sent

  • 7 books read

  • 4 flights taken

  • 3 Field Notes used

List of books read:

  • 12 Rules for Life - Jordan B. Peterson

  • Mythos - Stephen Fry

  • The Republic - Plato

  • Sagmeister - Steven Hall

  • Why Beauty is Key to Everything - Alan Moore

  • How to be a Graphic Designer Without Losing Your Soul - Adrian Shaughnessy

  • The Graphic Design Idea Book - Steven Heller & Gail Anderson