Harley Davidson Logo

What do you think of when you see the Harley-Davidson logo? Personally, I think of a rugged, rebellious “bikey” – one with tattoos, beard and a leather jacket.

Stereotypes aside, I find it fascinating that being what the Harley-Davidson brand is (tough & rebellious) it can turn a scrawny office worker into one mean fighting machine – just by slapping a logo on.

This has not been achieved overnight but rather has been built into the culture and beliefs of Harley since its establishment in 1902.

Marketing has played a huge role in this perceived image and I believe the video below is a great example of how they have achieved this.

“We believe the machine you sit on, can tell the world exactly where you stand. We don’t care what everyone else believes. Amen.”

Notice how the last line of the clip, as quoted above, is clear and not distorted? A very powerful, yet subtle, way to send the message right home.

In my opinion, Harley is one of the strongest “brands” in the world – right along side Apple. What about you?

17 Comments For This Post

  1. Mark Ballantyne - Logo Designer Says:

    “…This has not been achieved overnight but rather has been built into the culture and beliefs of Harley since its establishment in 1902…”

    I’m glad you said that. So many people think that the logo alone creates the ethos!

  2. Damon Says:

    I have to agree – I have a Harley, and if you throw on a Harley shirt and go out in public, people would never suspect I’m a web designer by day :D

  3. Matt Says:

    I have obviously seen the Harley Davidson logo before but this is the first time I have really taken the time to look at it in detail. It’s a really nice design. I especially like the ‘T’ in motor.

    It is certainly an impressive marketing achievement but i also think that because they provided quality bikes that they had the available funds to push the marketing further. It has certainly become a very strong brand and I like Mark’s point about the logo alone not creating the ethos.

  4. Jacob Cass Says:

    Mark – yes, your brand is more than your logo.

    Damon, maybe I should buy myself a Harley!

    Matt, I hadn’t noticed the T either until you mentioned it, it even looks like an arrow heh?

  5. kaaliss Says:

    For me the strongest brand element of Harley is the sound of the bikes. Harley actually patented the sound and will charge royalties for its use in movies or else.

    Of course the logo is also very strong.

  6. Dionne Says:

    It’s amazing to see an entire culture stemming from a single brand. Like a religious following. The Harley Davidson audience is a unique one and think the marketing does a good job of speaking to it. The Harley Davidson Museum is also another great educational marketing tool and a smart way to share the culture and the story of Harley: http://thestrategicfirm.wordpr.....-audience/

  7. Bobby Says:

    Harley is fantastic branding–it has come to represent so much more than pistons, tires, and a symphonic exhaust system. On the other hand, the poseurs have discovered it–and it’s becoming diluted as a symbol of existential rebellion. Once a motorcycle brand has been co-opted by yuppies, it’s all over.

  8. Warhawke Says:

    Just for clarification’s sake, Harley lost the case to patent the sound of their exhaust. They also do not own a copyright on the term “hog,” which is also a common misconception. Personally I’m curious to see how Harley will handle their brand image in the years to come; the Baby-Boomer market is aging out, and only the wealthy are able to afford to ride them ($83,000 median income, and that was 12 years ago!), so you get a lot of the weekend warrior types that Bobby is talking about. They’re losing their market hand over fist, so how do you preserve a brand image and sales that’s associated with an aging, “undesireable” market?

    @Tiffani, I love the tattoo thing. How many companies would any person actually tattoo on their body? Got to love the brand power here.

  9. Sarah Says:

    Very interesting! Thanks @Glenda for sharing brandcaster.tv

  10. Austin Harley Davidson Motorcycles Says:

    There are lots of fans of Harley Davidson because of its unique quality and one of the very old motorcycle company who still performing as a king of motorcycle world. From starting to till now there is no change in the logo of Harley that’s why this is the famous logo of motorcycle. In Australia many people has make the logo of Harley in there body. This way you can judge how much people they like Harley Davidson motorcycle.

  11. Wuyang Street Motorcyle Says:

    I think its brand is too complicated. Maybe it can be changed to be simple.

  12. Thaddeus George Says:

    Harley has one of the most loyal customers of any product in the entire world, that my friends is called great branding. I was recently in the logo design process myself and was able to work with some great logo designers from Sydney, Australia, and had the Harley Davidson logo in mind when attempting to generate my own. This is good, thanks.


  13. Logo Says:

    Best looking logo and the best bikes out there.

  14. Panknot Says:


  15. Raffi Says:

    Its a classic, its says tradition, no fuss just a great emblem.

  16. Free Logo Design Says:

    The Harley-Davidson Brand is a legacy, and their legacy still on. Their starting are a great story. And I love their current branding as well, thanks.

  17. instagram viewer Says:

    As a newbie, I have never thought so much about logo. Thank you for sharing the post! From now on, I will learn more about the meaning behind.

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