About the Harley Davidson Logo
The Harley-Davidson logo is world famous for the motorcycles to which it is attached, and the history that is associated with it. Since the inception of the company, the logo became the one symbol most intimately tied in with motorcycle sports, clubs,and sadly also biker gang notoriety.
The Harley-Davidson logo belongs to the Harley-Davidson Motor Company that is world famous for its motorcycles. It was founded in 1903 by William Harley and his childhood friend Arthur Davidson. His brothers, Walter Davidson and William Davidson, joined the two friends when the initial motorcycle failed to perform according to plan.
First Logo Appearance
The first Harley-Davidson logo to appear in an ad campaign features the now world famous “Harley-Davidson Motor Cycles” emblem in red and green. It is a historic advertisement from the 1920s and suggests that the company sees itself as a global rather than national force in the manufacture and sale of motorcycles. Today the logo is only slightly changed and kept in orange and white, but it is otherwise virtually the same as the original logo design. You may see the 1920s ad at the online Harley-Davidson Museum exhibit. See the Resources section for a link.
Harley-Davidson began manufacturing conveyances other than just motorcycles in the 1960s. In order to prevent an adverse use of the well known company symbol–after all, slow golf carts were one of the transportation devices built–a new Harley-Davidson logo was designed in 1964. The Hogdom site (a link is provided in the resources section) suggests that this new logo only featured the words “Harley-Davidson” and omitted any reference to motorcycles. The logo was changed back toward the end of the 1980s when the company experienced a resurgence in popularity.
Even as researchers find that the actual design history of the logo is hard to trace, it is a well known fact that the logo is licensed and as such may not be used without the express consent of the Harley-Davidson Company. The Dinesh site (a link is placed in the resources section) suggests that in the year 2004, the company earned $41 million just through logo licensing.
Common Harley Davidson Logo Uses
Today the Harley-Davidson logo is found not only on motorcycles, but also on patches affixed to jackets, on belt buckles, and of course as the quintessential biker tattoo on a variety of body parts. MySpace layouts include Harley-Davidson inspired designs, and there are also motorcycle clubs that integrate the logo into their personal club symbol design.