Official Anniversary Publishing Program
In 2002, Harley-Davidson planned to celebrate its 100th anniversary in style—with an international bike tour, festivals, parties, and museum-quality exhibitions. The team at Harley-Davidson felt it was an ideal time to create an official anniversary book program to commemorate this major milestone in the company’s long history. The centerpiece of the program would be an official history of the company. But how do you create a book that stands out when there are already more than 200 unofficial books on bookshelves? And how to make it appeal to an audience that extended beyond Harley-Davidson’s core riders?
To start, Melcher Media came to Harley-Davidson with an original idea: collaborate with Harley-Davison icon “Willie G.” Davidson to craft his first-ever memoir. Titled 100 Years of Harley-Davidson, the book would provide the unique and personal voice needed to differentiate it. Next, Melcher Media took the crucial steps necessary to properly represent the brand, including combing the Harley-Davidson archives, partnering with historians, conducting original photo research, and working closely with Harley-Davidson brand experts. We introduced unique design details, such as a black rubber cover with an attached aluminum logo identical to those that appear on Harley-Davidson motorcycle gas tanks. The book stands out as an innovative, authentic tribute to Harley-Davidson’s history and ideals, one that provides a completely original viewpoint from which to learn about the company.
In addition to the company history, Melcher Media produced three additional anniversary titles: 100 Years of Harley-Davidson Advertising, a decade-by-decade visual chronicle of the Harley-Davidson mystique, captured in the advertising signposts along the way; Harley-Davidson Flip-Books, a collection of six small flip-books capturing moments like a dirt-track race, a hill climb, and a stunt jump over twenty cars; and The Harley-Davidson Sticker Book, an activity book that includes more than 100 stickers that readers can use to decorate various bikes, leather jackets, and other scenes on the book’s pages.
100 Years of Haley-Davidson went on to become a New York Times best seller, and the program as a whole was a vital part of the company’s anniversary celebrations that took place across the country and around the world.