Tostitos is the twin brother of the Doritos brand, which makes tortilla chips. But if Doritos is more popular in the UK, then Tostitos become famous in his homeland, in the USA. It appeared 15 years later than its main competitor – in 1979. Moreover, they were created by the same company Frito-Lay, operating as a division of PepsiCo. It specializes in various snacks and sauces, including the world-famous Cheetos and Lay’s snacks.
Meaning and History
Tostitos has proven to be one of Frito-Lay’s most commercially successful products because its developers unlocked the secret to the true Mexican taste of cornmeal chips. As it turned out, the cooking techniques required a high calcium hydroxide content, which was achieved by boiling corn in slaked lime. This substance made snacks very tasty by reacting chemically with the frying oil.
Jack Liczkowski led the research team. Together with other specialists, he created round chips for Frito-Lay, which were called Tostitos. The first batches hit the shelves in 1978. Over time, new versions of the product were released: with flavors of wheat, spices, cheese, pepper, and lime. There were also snacks in the form of triangles, tubes, bowls, and flattened circles.
Despite the great variety of Tostitos, all varieties are united by a common logo. It has evolved noticeably, undergoing four redesigns from 1979 to 2012. The overall concept has not changed: the focus has always been a black inscription with a red dot above the “i.” But the developers decided to experiment, turning the middle of the word into a small “feast.” To do this, they depicted two “t” in the form of men who dip chips in salsa. Such an interesting move allowed the brand to draw attention to its main product, making it the central part of the graphic sign.
1979 – 1985
In 1979, the first batch of Tostitos was released. Snack packages were decorated with a logo with a black inscription. The designers designed the brand name using a bold, low-contrast typeface with sharp, long serifs. The top edges of the “t’s” were triangular in shape, while both “o’s” were oval. Letter spacing was practically non-existent. A large red dot above the “i,” which looked like a rising sun, completed the composition. And in the lower right corner was the most inconspicuous element – the word “BRAND,” written in a thin grotesque right under the last “s.”
1985 – 2003
From the mid-1980s until 2003, a Greek-style logo was used. Its creators worked on the typography, removing serifs and the trailing element of the lowercase “t.” They completely changed the shape of the letters, so the “o” became round, and the “s” took on the appearance of zigzags with smoothed curves. The triangles at the tops of the “t” have been replaced with trapeziums. The capital “T” has side cuts. Due to the lack of proportions, the word “BRAND” was moved a little to the left and took place between the last “o” and “s.” The red dot above the “i,” probably representing the rising sun, rose slightly higher and separated from the vertical black line. At the same time, the designers made it brighter and larger.
2003 – 2012
In 2003, the most famous Tostitos logo appeared, which earned the public’s attention thanks to an optical illusion. The artists turned two lowercase “t” into little people. Horizontal stripes depicted arms spread out to the sides, and the top short stroke of each “t” became ahead. To achieve this visual effect, the designers made the sidelines asymmetrical and separated the tops from the body of the letters.
The makeshift men held one large, triangular-shaped orange chip as if they were about to split it in half. Directly between them was a bowl of salsa – the same red dot above the “i,” which appeared back in 1979. The rest of the letters in the inscription also looked new: the capital “T” strokes narrowed and expanded unevenly, and both “s” turned into twisted ribbons.
The background was no less interesting. The creators of the logo tilted the word “Tostitos” to the right side and placed it on a multifaceted base. The center was painted yellow with an orange gradient and outlined with thin black stripes. Against a bright background, the dark inscription “BRAND TORTILLA CHIPS” stood out, which was located under the name of the trademark. Around the edges of the yellow-orange area was a curly red border with black outlines.
2012 – today
In 2012, PepsiCo introduced a new Tostitos logo, bringing together all the previous logos. The old inscription has been preserved in it, albeit with minor modifications. The developers made the “o” oval, as in the 1979 version, but left the sans-serif font, as in the 1985 wordmark. At the same time, the brand name is aligned horizontally, and the background image is removed.
The central letters, stylized as men with a chip, have become symmetrical: the right half of the “tit” exactly repeats the left, like a mirror image. To enhance the symmetry of the logo, the designers have converted the last letter “S” to uppercase. Now it balances the first capital “T.”
Font and Colors of the Emblem
The last update of the visual identity was accompanied by a change in the appearance of the packages. As colorful rays appeared on the packages, there was no need for a multi-colored figure behind the inscription. It had to be removed and the phrase “BRAND TORTILLA CIPS” at the bottom. But the most important thing remains – a veiled image of two people enjoying chips and sauce. The logo features both types of snacks, so it is universally applicable to all types of Tostitos products.
Two sketchy figures reflect the concept adopted back in 2004. In a press release of the time, cornmeal chips were positioned as a snack that brings people together. That is why the T-shaped people hold only one chip as if sharing it with each other.
The emblem represents Tostitos as a socializing and party brand. Moreover, snacks of this kind are served in Mexican restaurants as an appetizer that you can treat to friends sitting next to you. The symbolic elements in the inscription convey a sense of togetherness and authenticity of North American cuisine.
The fonts in the brand logo changed frequently. At first, it was an antique with thin and elongated serifs. Then letters in the Greek design were used, and in 2003 they became “Mexican.” However, someone might say that it is more like the Mayan or Aztec style. The word looks non-standard because the lines are skewed in different directions. And due to the lack of serifs, it acquired an informal look. There is no similar typeface: the inscription consists of individual glyphs designed specifically for Tostitos.
Elements of bright colors accentuate the festive Mexican mood, but there are not many of them: a small yellow chip in the form of a triangle and a red oval depicting a bowl of sauce. All other parts of the logo are traditionally black.