Harley Davidson Logo

Harley-Davidson Motorcycles LogoHarley Davidson Logo PNG

The Harley-Davidson emblem, also known as the Bar-and-Shield, pays tribute to the brand’s history and is known worldwide as the foundation for the maker of legendary American motorcycles. The modern version of the emblem reflects a new concept, forward-looking, close connection between the past and the future.

Harley Davidson: Brand overview

Harley Davidson is a motorcycle manufacturing company founded by four entrepreneurs: William Sylvester Harley and the three Davidson brothers. In 1903, after unsuccessful experiments with a motorcycle, they introduced their debut motorcycle. Their first factory was a small wooden shed in the backyard of the Davidson home. In 1908, the enthusiasts managed to sell the motorcycle to the Detroit police. By 1918, the U.S. military had purchased half of the company’s machinery.

Meaning and History

Harley Davidson Logo History

Although the company was founded in 1903, the Harley Davidson logo appeared a few years later: according to one version, in 2009, according to another – in 1910. The name of the brand immediately became famous in races and endurance tests: motorcycles took seven first places.

The famous design was invented by Janet Davidson. She worked for her uncle Alexander McNabb in a lingerie store and used her artistic talent to create original monograms for fine textiles. She enjoyed this activity so much that Janet made a badge for Harley Davidson; she applied it to motorcycles, decorating each tank and fender with the pattern. The big sister was proud to help her brothers and be a part of making their dreams come true.

This logo has been in use for over a hundred years. It was officially registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office in 1982. In addition to it, there have been temporary trademarks to commemorate anniversaries. In 1953, when the first Harley Davidson motorcycle turned 50 years old, the company marked the event with a new emblem. The design was carefully thought out: the letter “V” denoted the type of engine, and the version with a medallion so liked the owners of the company that they decided to leave it on the front fenders of all 1954 motorcycles.

In 1976, for the bicentennial of the United States, artist Paul Smith changed the design of the branding, adding an eagle to it. This variant first appeared on Liberty Edition models. In 1978, for the 75th anniversary of Harley Davidson, another logo was created, but it appeared only on souvenir products. A little later, the company’s managers realized the advertising potential of the emblems, and for every fifth anniversary after 1978, they began to produce a special series of motorcycles with anniversary signs.

What is Harley-Davidson?

Harley-Davidson is a legendary motorcycle brand from the United States. The company was founded in 1903 by mechanical engineer William S. Harley and three businessmen from the Davidson family (Arthur, Walter, and William). The headquarters of this iconic brand is located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

1910 – 1953

Harley-Davidson Motorcycles Logo 1910-1953

On logos from those years, the phrase “Harley-Davidson” is written with a hyphen and placed in the very center of the brand name. Around the perimeter, it is in a rectangle with a double border. The letters are white, narrow, and elongated. The words “TRADE” (left) and “MARK” (right) are in small type on the outermost strip.

A horizontal figure divides the bipartite triangles into two halves resembling shields. In the upper one is the word “MOTOR,” and in the lower one – “CYCLES.” The letters are of different sizes: in the middle, they are large; on the edges, they are small, so the words look like pyramids. The triangles are like directional indicators.

1953 – 1981

Harley-Davidson Motorcycles Logo 1953-1980s

In 1953, there was a jubilee emblem, which was so liked by the administration that it was decided to use it instead of the main emblem. In the center is a horizontal rectangle with the inscription “Harley-Davidson.” It resembles handwritten text and is in a casual font with imitation engraving. The letters are connected, semi-cursive.

The background of the rectangle is a Latin letter “V,” indicating the type of engine. In the upper part, there is a shield indicating the age of the brand – “50 years”. In the sharp triangle formed by the “V” sign, the inscription “AMERICAN MADE” is placed in two rows. All elements are drawn in a circle, which makes the logo look like a medal.

1981 – today

Harley-Davidson Motorcycles Logo 1980s-present

The modern version is almost identical to the debut version. The only difference is the shaped design of the corners of the shield and a more compact arrangement of letters in the central inscription.

Font and Colors

Harley-Davidson Emblem

The first symbol, invented by Janet Davidson, is called Bar-and-Shield because it represents a shaped shield divided in the middle by a horizontal bar. At the top is the inscription “MOTOR,” at the bottom – “CYCLES” (sometimes “COMPANY”), and in the middle – “HARLEY-DAVIDSON.” This version is considered standard, but each company office has its own unique logo. The version created in 1965 is recognized as a cult one. It differs from the classic one by bold letters, wide frames, and a black and white color scheme (original).

In 2019, the manufacturer announced a global redesign, saying that the first motorcycles with the new emblems will go on sale in 2020. The style change will be phased in, with the visual concept changing by 2025 to give fans time to get used to the brand’s new look. The old symbol will remain but as a tribute to a bygone era. It will continue to be used in the context of the company’s heritage.

The designers of the modern emblem retained the Bar-and-Shield, also known as the shield and stripe. It is a shaped heraldic shield divided into two parts by a horizontal rectangle. The new version conveys the modern style of Harley Davidson. The angles and proportions have changed slightly, and the lines have become a little thinner.

Harley-Davidson Symbol

The classic logo contains orange “MOTOR,” “CYCLES” (“COMPANY”), and white “HARLEY-DAVIDSON.” The text on the shield uses a customized font: the letters in “MOTOR” are stretched upwards, and those in “CYCLES” are stretched downwards in a frame shape. The company name is in the standard bold grotesque. The background color is black.

The new, minimalist emblem does without inscriptions. There is no special variety in the palette: the monochrome version of the shield is presented in black and white.

Harley Davidson color codes

Safety Orange Hex color: #ff6600
RGB: 255 102 0
CMYK: 0 60 100 0
Pantone: PMS Bright Orange C
Black Hex color: #000000
RGB: 0 0 0
CMYK: 0 0 0 100
Pantone: PMS Process Black C