The History of Harley Davidson Logo & Design

Since 1903, when Harley Davidson manufactured their first motorcycle, the HD logo and design has stayed fairly consistent. In 1910, the first and arguably most widely known Harley symbol, the bar and shield logo, came to be. Variations of the bar and shield logo have been used on all sorts of HD products and motorcycles like Harley Davidson motor oil, designed specifically for HD motorcycles and introduced around WW2.

vintage harley davidson symbol

Since then, new designs have been introduced, like the number one Harley Davidson logo, the V design logo, and the Harley Davidson eagle logo, used here on this vintage Harley Davidson pin. However, as all of these additions were made to the catalogue of old Harley Davidson logos, the bar and shield logo, in the classic white, orange, and black has continued to stay at the heart of the company’s design.

There are a handful of designs that have been used as logos and images for Harley products and collectibles. These images and designs have been known to stand for freedom and strength, motifs that are core to the history, branding and manufacturing of the company.

#1 Logo

The design goes back the original motorcycle racing days when it created to be an award for the HD dirt track racing specifically. This specific logo didn’t make its way to the forefront of Harley symbols, but became much more popular when Willie G. Davidson introduced the #1 Harley logo on the 1971 FX Super Glide® motorcycle. Once it reappeared here, it began to take on new life, popping up more regularly in motorcycle designs, clothing, and Harley Davidson memorabilia.

V Design Logo

After around 50 years of manufacturing motorcycles and more, the V design logo was introduced. The “V” represents the V-Twin engine that Harley Davidson began to run in their bikes in the 60’s and onward. Today, the V-Twin is one of the most common engines used on HD motorcycles.

Eagle Logo

The eagle logo came about after wings were added to the original Harley Davidson logo. The Harley logos with up-wings were used ever since it was originally created, seen on the 100 year anniversary logo and so on.

The history of Harley Davidson logos and designs have been used throughout the years on their manufactured parts and apparel. The legacy of the Harley Davidson brand and popularity of it’s subculture has opened the doors for the the company to create a widespread of products outside of manufacturing the world’s most badass motorcycles. On this Harley Davidson zippo, and on this vintage Harley Davidson bandana, you can see the up-wing eagle logo including branding that speaks towards the patriotism of being made in the USA and the freedom that motorcycles bring to those who indulge.

The history of Harley Davidson logo and design not only depict the fluctuations that the company has gone through, but also solidifies the impact that the brand has had on the motorcycle culture. If you’re a fan of motorcycle culture, vintage motorcycle stuff, or vintage clothes, we’ve got a handful of stuff you may dig on the Feel Good site!

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