Harley Davidson Logo: Meaning, Evolution and History.

Harley Davidson logo
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The iconic Harley Davidson logo is well known among those familiar with motorcycles. One of the largest motorcycle manufacturers in the world, Harley Davidson, was founded in a shed in 1903.

It is well known for its massive motorbikes with powerful engines that can be customized in various ways.

The geometric design of the Harley emblem and the vivid orange and black color scheme provide a logo that is as intriguing and potent as its recognizable motorcycles.

Read on to learn more about the Harley Davidson logo, its history, facts, challenges, overcomes, and Skull Harley Davidson Logo

The Harley Davidson team persisted in being laser-focused on its objective—to make the best bike in the world—despite several futile attempts to advance motorcycle technology.

Since the beginning, the Harley-Davidson logo and its corporate name have been essential elements of the company’s brand awareness. It wasn’t until 1909, a few years after the company’s founding, that the first version of the logo officially debuted.

Janet Davidson is credited with creating the original Harley Davidson logo. The design was not Janet’s first emblem; she had experience making monograms for the textile business.

The Harley Davidson logo has undergone various changes over the years. The current Harley Davidson emblem is far more straightforward than earlier iterations.

The Harley Davidson bar and shield, however, modified, nevertheless play a significant role in the company’s branding. Check out the evolution of the design over time.

#1. Emblem

Harley Davidson’s motorcycles and corporate logo have seen significant changes. The Harley Davidson logo has been seen in various forms and colors, but the text has never changed. It serves as the principal constant quality.

The shield and bar, the most well-known emblem still in use, exudes a sense of mystique. Who wrote it is still unknown. With a wide horizontal stripe in the middle, they shaped the emblem like a shield. There are two color schemes: the first features black letters on a white background; the second features the words Harley Davidson in white, and the rest text in orange.

#2. Color

The current black and orange theme for Harley Davidson is considerably better suited to the brand, even though it has transitioned from a severe “chrome” aspect to a black and white piece.

The preferred color for Harley Davidson has long been black. Black often conjures images of sophistication, elegance, brevity, and sleekness. An excellent way to describe riding is edgy, which is another way black can be.

Lastly, the orange ingredient is warm and aggressive in just the right amounts. After all, isn’t it the case that everyone should get along? Harley Davidson, on the other hand, completely concurs.

Orange emphasizes Harley Davidson’s vitality and attitude, whereas black exudes edge and simplicity. The company also recognizes the value of the white border around the emblem, which encourages harmony and cleanliness.

#3. Font

Although Harley Davidson experimented with numerous script typefaces while changing their emblem repeatedly, such fonts were uncommon. The corporation has used elegant, blocky sans serif typefaces for most of its logos.

Today, Harley-Davidson is more than just a well-known motorbike maker. This company is not only famous but also legendary. And even those who are not very familiar with the motorbike industry are aware of the goods produced under this brand.

People who purchase these goods aim to demonstrate loyalty to a particular lifestyle and membership in a specific culture.

As a result of the company’s enormous success, it develops products other than motorcycles. Today, Harley-Davidson produces shoes, clothes, kitchenware, and various accessories.

These things always bear the Harley-Davidson emblem, a continuous feature throughout the company’s many years of existence.

The company’s logo has seen numerous changes during its history. For instance, the “Harley-Davidson” motorcycle logo from 1930 had the company name (red letters with a yellow contour on a white background).

The sign was preserved in its original form in the 1933 version, but they had changed the backdrop color to black and orange. This made the inscription much more sharply focused. A metal drop-shaped picture with the words “Harley-Davidson” appeared as the logotype between 1940 and 1946.

In the background of the traditional “Harley-Davidson” description, a new large letter “V” (in honor of the illustrious engine V-twin) first debuted in 1955.

Additionally, the Harley-Davidson logo in 6-7 years appeared as a rear sight and a four-pointed star.

Walter and Arthur Davidson established the business in 1903. Although they put together their first bike that year, the iconic bar and shield insignia didn’t appear until 1910. The main distinction between it and the contemporary design is how the shield is shaped.

The Davidson brothers created a straightforward, unique, simple, and simple logo to recognize. Harley-logo Davidson’s history has undergone quite a few changes, even though it now resembles the original.

Its logo has changed a lot during Harley Davidson’s history. For instance, a simple red font with a yellow outline and a white background was all there in the 1930 version.

Although the background was changed to orange and black in the 1933 revision, they kept the symbol. The lettering was, therefore, much more visible as a result.

The “Harley Davidson” name was inscribed as a metal drop on the logotype from 1940 to 1946. In the background of the elegant Harley Davidson lettering in 1955, a new large-size letter V (paying homage to the popular engine V-twin) appeared.

Although Harley Davidson produced its first motorcycle in 1903, it wasn’t until 1910 that the organization unveiled its first official emblem. The Harley Davidson logo is thought to have first appeared in that year.

Harley Davidson created the V-shaped engine in 1929. The new engine was so well received that it continued to be used until 1972, through several rounds of improvement. In recognition of the V-shaped engine that had helped the company achieve record success for its 50th anniversary in 1953, the company chose to create a new version of its emblem.

The letter “V” in the memorial logo represents the V-twin engine. In 1954, motorcycle front fenders featured this iteration of the Harley Davidson emblem. They placed the V of the insignia outside the circle in which they created it. An inscription reading “Harley Davidson,” “50 Years,” and “American Made” could be found on the upper portion of the shield.

The Harley Davidson emblem, which is currently the most well-known, was unveiled in this year. While the logo is straightforward, the shield and bar have been replaced with a more contemporary form and design. The company’s motorcycles currently have this version of them.

In 2003, Harley Davidson unveiled a new logo to mark the company’s 100th anniversary. With wings positioned around it, the same shield and bar were present.

1903 (the company’s inception year) and 2003 (the company’s 100th anniversary) were inscribed on either side of the wings. Under the shield and bar, there was the number: 100.

Logo For The 105th Harley Davidson Anniversary In 2008.

Harley Davidson unveiled a new commemorative emblem in 2008 that resembled the one from 2003 to mark the company’s 105th year in business. The circle was orange and black, with a shield and bar in the center. The wings’ curved edges rose from the shield’s edges and extended past the ring.

The words “105 years” were written in the space between the logo’s wings, and the years 1903–2008 were inscribed along the bottom ring’s contour. The only motorcycles produced that year with this insignia were the Rocker, Rocker C, and Dyna Fat Bob models.

The Harley Davidson logo is more than simply a logo to motorcycling aficionados; it’s a badge of pride.

The Company has established itself over many years as a representation of liberty and harmony. Many people wear the Harley Davidson emblem on coats, shirts, and other clothing items, even if they don’t own a bike, since the company’s brand identification is alluring.

The iconic bar and shield combination was first used in the inaugural Harley Davidson logo. With a simple metallic shield and a block bar resembling a license plate, this design was remarkably straightforward compared to several vintage logos.

Out of necessity, the initial Harley Davidson logo was straightforward. Back then, there weren’t a lot of tools accessible for making automobile emblems. It wouldn’t have been possible to design the Harley-Davidson motorcycle emblem if it had been too complex.

Up until 1934, the original Harley Davidson logo was in use. Then, a new, winged version of the logo debuted. This alternative logo adopted a more typical “retro-style” automobile insignia rather than the shield and bar design that most consumers are familiar with today.

Harley-Davidson produced a complex new symbol to mark its 50th anniversary in 1953. The old Harley Davidson emblem is now quite valuable to collectors.

To signify 50 years in business, the design had the usual Harley Davidson bar and shield, along with a massive V in the background.

The iconic Bar and Shield Emblem is still used today and has more streamlined and assured lines and contours. 

The logo is white with a bright orange frame and the word “Motorcycle” above and beyond it. 

The brand uses a monochromatic color scheme.

One of the world’s most recognizable logos is that of Harley-Davidson. Even though it simply uses three colors and clean, bold lines as its foundation, it conveys a forceful, brutal image of the recognized and influential firm.

The Harley Davidson insignia is a source of pride and honor for millions of customers who use their bikes and branded items. Among the most well-known motorcycle producers in the world is this brand.

The fact that many people can recognize the Harley Davidson emblem right away is not surprising.

Additionally, you should be aware that the business accounted for $40 million of its net sales from licensing the famous logo.

They conceptualized a new visual identity for the company in 2020; it will probably be unveiled by 2025. They modeled it after the plain and straightforward traditional Bar and Shield Emblem.

The company’s retail products for the fashion and accessory lines will feature a wordmark-based logo also produced by the brand. The typeface has been simplified while maintaining the original black-white-orange color scheme.

The corporation is conducting an intriguing experiment that will look chic and contemporary on the apparel and footwear lines from Harley-Davidson.

Over the years, the Harley Davidson logo has gone through many variations, all of which feature the shield and bar design. This variation, created in the traditional colors of black and orange, occasionally showed up on motorcycles.

Additionally, there are variations of simple, clean steel logo designs.

The Harley Davidson Skull logo is most likely something you’ve seen before. Despite not being the official Harley logo, this is one of the most well-known skull emblems and is used everywhere. The origin of the skull logo is a mystery. There is a heated discussion about the logo’s genesis on a Harley Davidson forum.

According to one user, the early 1930s saw the beginning of the adoption of the skull and wings as a sign. The design is thought to have been created by Willie G. Davidson by forum users. Willie was the grandson of the original co-founder and the son of the former president of Harley-Davidson.

Creating a symbol that nobody truly understands is a common practice in branding. The enigmatic 33 number inscribed on the back of Rolling Rock beer bottles has led some branding gurus to refer to this as “33.” Nobody understands what it means, but they know that it helps the brand stand out and creates a buzz around it.

Harley hasn’t said where the skull emblem originated, although the company does have a collection of skull-themed merchandise on its website that numbers over 50. Some have speculated that it was simply a brilliant marketing strategy.


The symbolism in Harley Davidson logos is extensive. The classic bar and shield are meant to represent toughness and endurance. Eagles, the national bird of the USA, are the source of the wings that frequently feature in celebratory logos and other dealership signs. There is no doubt that Harley Davidson is an American legend.

The HOG team

The largest motorcycle club in the world is the Harley Davidson Owners Group or HOG. It utilizes a logo very dissimilar to the one Harley Davidson employs as part of its branding. The HOG emblem is available on a variety of jackets and memorabilia.


The Harley Davidson brand’s official representatives are permitted to change the logo however they see fit, but most don’t. According to 95% of dealers, the most excellent way to show their devotion to the company is to keep the well-known global emblem.


In celebration of milestone anniversaries like it’s 50th or 100th, Harley Davidson frequently releases particular iterations of its logos. They typically provide these logos as a passing promotion, being merely transient.

When the celebration logo is offered, it’s frequently printed on shirts and bikes.

Style symbols

Harley Davidson is one of the few automakers whose emblem people genuinely want to wear. We can find the logo on a variety of jackets and t-shirts.

You may still express your admiration for Harley Davidson and its incredible community without ever purchasing a bike.

Challenges Of Harley Davidson

  • Although Harley-Davidson dominates its main market, its stock has dropped dramatically over the past five years, and the company is dealing with aging customers and diminishing motorcycle sales patterns.
  • Matt Levatich, the CEO of Harley-Davidson, is taking the appropriate steps to promote growth, but he still has challenges.
  • Harley is a nearly perfect example of an established, profitable brand that is still quite popular but faces a period of steady decline.
  • Even if today’s bikes and construction quality are Bentley class and prices, Harley Davidson continues to portray themselves as “badass employees.” The era of oil-dripping vintage Harleys and kneeling monkeys with beards working on wrenches is far away.
  • The comparable BMW or Ducati costs less than a modern Harley-Davidson. They are also one of the few manufacturers that use steel instead of plastic for the gasoline tanks and fenders, which are pressed and welded. American steel is used to create exclusive bicycles.
  • Harley Davidson’s products and the “Badass worker” brand have grown apart. Too few of the aged “tough ass worker” consumers who buy the brand know that they are Livewire or $35-40,000 bagger owners. No longer do they buy brand-new Harleys.

A great brand runs the risk of blending even more with stickers, clothing, and outdated memories. Instead of using all that plastic, Harley should revert to their American roots and ride actual motorcycles.

Money, the desire for independence, and current fundamental American values play essential roles in the American software startup culture (entrepreneurship, freedom, open road).

Overcomes Of Harley Davidson

They made it through the Great Depression even though many firms found it difficult to exist in 1929. There was no exemption for the motorcycle business. The fact that many people considered motorbikes to be a luxury rather than a necessity further contributed to their demise.

Nevertheless, Harley-Davidson managed to endure the Great Depression despite the unstable economy. 

For a brief while, the business began producing industrial engines to maintain some revenue.

In a shed, they constructed their first bike. Many of the most important and prosperous businesses, including Amazon, had modest origins. In a humble bungalow, Harley-Davidson also created its first bike. It resembled a typical bicycle but also included a small gasoline-powered motor.

They have factories worldwide; Harley-Davidson, a symbol of America, has four facilities in the country and numerous additional factories. 

The production facilities are located in Thailand, India, and Brazil. The company also operates a metallurgy facility in Australia that makes a few particular components. This demonstrates their global reach.

Over a century ago, they began offering police bicycles. Soon after its founding, the business started supplying various police agencies with specially made bicycles. The bikes could perform tasks that a motorcar could not since they were well-engineered, robustly constructed, and designed for all police work.

  • In total, 5,000 people work for Harley-Davidson.
  • 38% of women and 62% of men work for Harley-Davidson.
  • White (67%), Hispanic or Latino (12%), and Black or African American (9%) make up the majority of the workforce at Harley-Davidson.
  • Latinos make up about 12% of the workforce at Harley-Davidson.
  • Black or African American employees comprise about 9% of the Harley-Davidson workforce.
  • $57,756 is the yearly salary for the typical Harley-Davidson employee.
  • The majority of the workforce at Harley-Davidson is likely to be Republican.
  • 4.6 years is the typical length of employment at Harley-Davidson.

What Does The Harley Davidson Logo Mean?

Similar to the well-known bikes bearing the same name, the Harley emblem is recognizable even to people outside the biker community. Harley is a famous brand, and the logo is solid and confident. The shield, which stands for a sense of authority and power, is intended to reflect the power and control horseback riding bestows upon its rider.

What Is The Harley Davidson Symbol Called?

The Harley Davidson logo, the Bar & Shield logo, is the most widely used and recognized. Surprisingly, not much has changed in that time—117 years, to be exact.

The word “Harley-Davidson” is written on the bar, placed in front of the word “Motorcycles” on a shield.

The bar and shield bearing Harley-Davidson were trademarked as the original logo. 1953: The logo included a “V” to honor their well-known V-Twin engines as part of their 50th-anniversary celebration.

In 2003, Harley Davidson unveiled a new logo to commemorate its 100 years in business. It was made up of an identical shield and bar with wings around them.

1903 (the year the company was founded) and 2003 (the year the company celebrated its 100th anniversary) were inscribed on either side of the wings.

What Does The Harley Bar and Shield Mean?

The shield stands for steadiness and strength, two characteristics you’d want on a motorcycle. This is why many motorcycle enthusiasts identify with the Harley Davidson emblem since we would all like to possess these characteristics.

While keeping the bar and shield emblem, they positioned it between two silver wings that had the dates 1903 and 2003 on either side and a big “100” beneath the shield. The wings stood for the motorcycle, riding power, speed, and freedom metaphors.

What Is Harley Davidson Slogan?

The numerous slogan alterations the company has undergone during its history indicate that Harley’s slogans are notable. Try coming up with just a few words to encapsulate everything instead of trying to design a logo that represents an entire movement or culture—saying it than doing it is much easier.

  • Living to ride and ride to live: Harley may have thought these statements were among his best options. They represent the brand well yet are straightforward without being overly so. This catchphrase emphasizes how we feel when driving. Motorcycles provide many riders with a lifestyle that is difficult to find elsewhere. They are more than just a mode of transportation for them.
  • It’s time to go riding: Easy to understand. While it may not be Harley’s most well-known catchphrase, it nonetheless represents the company. Harley avoids making things too complex. They try to keep their bikes as efficient as possible by not putting extraneous extras on them. This catchphrase encapsulates the idea.‍
  • Let’s ride, screw it: Ride when things get complicated. The new Harley catchphrase is slightly more direct and brutal than earlier versions. It gives the impression that you may temporarily forget some of the everyday issues that plague us all.

Harley Davidson FAQs

Is the Harley Davidson logo permissible?

Without our prior written authorization, you may not use any name, trademark, service mark, logo, content, or other proprietary information (such as graphics, text, page layout, or forms) of Harley-Davidson or one of its affiliates in frames or by using different techniques to enclose them.

Who Created the logo for Harley-Davidson?

It wasn’t until 1909, a few years after the company’s founding, that the first version of the logo officially debuted. They credit Janet Davidson with creating the original Harley Davidson logo. Janet had previously produced monograms for the textile business, so this wasn’t her first attempt at a logo.

Why is Harley-Davidson in existence?

Inspiring their consumers to seek adventure, achieve spiritual freedom, and lead the Harley-Davidson lifestyle drives us to develop the goods, services, and experiences we do.


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