How a Mutual Love of Religious Iconography Produced the ‘Tacofino’ Logo

Branding Vancouver looks at some of the more interesting logos and icons that appear in Vancouver’s food and beverage scene. Some of the explanations will be long and others short, but the goal of deeper understanding will be constant. If you want the backstory of a particularly compelling local brand revealed, let us know via @scoutmagazine and we’ll try to figure it out.

The Brand: Kaeli Robinsong, who co-founded the company with partner Jason Sussman in Tofino in 2009, answers the question: “Who came up with the ‘Virgin de Guadalupe holding a taco?”…

“Jason Sussman and I came up with the idea of the logo. When we met, we both separately had a collection of kitschy holographic religious art. Our house was filled with praying hands — it kind of seemed natural to stick a taco in between them! I remember running the idea by my Irish Catholic grandmother to make sure it wasn’t too cheeky. Her response was, ‘Well sure, even the Virgin herself has gotta eat!'”

“The first iteration of the logo [pictured above] was hand-painted on our Tofino truck by my dad, Lee Robinsong. I did a line drawing of the hands holding a taco that we eventually made into a stamp. When Tacofino landed in Vancouver, we hired graphic designer Robert Mearns (who I knew from my Emily Carr days) to do a more graphic version of the Virgin de Guadalupe. This turned into a truck wrap and our first t-shirt design. Since then, designer Shiloh Sukkau has further altered the logo and simplified the ‘hands holding a taco’ graphic into what it is today.

“We have had a few t-shirt designs over the years. The first was a line drawing of the truck that I did, then Robert’s Guadeloupe and skull designs. For the current t-shirt designs, we collaborated with San Francisco-based artist Ferris Plock to design a taco surfer dude t-shirt for us in his classic cartoon character style.”

  • Kaeli with one of the Tacofino food trucks
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  • Tacofino
  • Tacofino detail
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  • Tacofino
  • Kaeli Robinsong and Jason Susman of Tacofino
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  • RobertMearn-Tacofino2
  • Tacofino Logo 2017_Oasis Branding
  • Tacofino Logo 2017_Adapted by Shiloh Sakkau
  • RobertMearn-Tacofino4
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  • RobertMearn-Tacofino3
  • Ferris Plock t-shirt design_2

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