Harley-Davidson had an image problem. While younger riders respected the iconic brand, they didn’t see themselves as the stereotypical tattooed bikers of yesteryear. Walking into a dealership was an intimidating experience for first-time buyers. On top of that, the brand had no dealership presence in Toronto’s downtown core where many new riders live and work.
We aimed to build a welcoming space where guests could engage with Harley on an emotional level. This design would focus on the brand’s old world craftsmanship and authenticity, two attributes tech-weary millennials would find appealing.
The result was 1903 | A Harley Davidson Café – A nod to 1960s café racer culture, when riders would race stripped down, lightweight bikes from one café to another. We conceived and designed every inch of the café to pay homage to the brand’s craft heritage – from handcrafted signage to cold-brew bottles to the staff’s denim aprons. Archival photography adorned the walls in vintage frames. A Gold-leaf logo was applied to the exterior windows. We even developed an ink made from the actual coffee the café serves, giving posters and cup stamps the texture and scent of real coffee.