Looking for something?

hoodzpah nicolettos packaging angled grid
nicolettos pasta co logo 1400px

Nicoletto’s CPG Packaging & Restaurant Branding

As long-time friends of Danny and Ryan Nicoletto, founders of Nashville’s Nicoletto’s Pasta Co. and Italian Kitchen, we helped them design their first logo in 2015 as they transitioned out of the music business and into the pasta business. So when they rang us up about expanding and updating the restaurant branding, we were excited to pick up where we left off. With new restaurant locations set to open and a fast growing wholesale vertical serving gourmet and specialty grocers across the U.S., they needed to level up their visual identity, restaurant collateral, and CPG packaging to be well positioned for their next phase of growth.

Nicoletto’s Rebrand Scope:

— Strategy
— Logo, Typography & Color
— Packaging, Menus & Printed Collateral
— Signage & Environmental Graphics
— Messaging
— Illustration
— Brand Guidelines

Additional Credits:

— Packaging photography by Scott Snyder Photo
— Location and food photography by Kelli Dirks
— Mural painted by Murals By Loba

37 KelliDirks Nicolettos Donelson Mar 2023
Nicoletto's Italian Kitchen — Donelson, TN Location

About Nicoletto’s

Nicoletto’s Pasta Co. was founded in 2014 by brothers Danny and Ryan Nicoletto to honor their late father and their Italian roots. Since opening their small batch pasta factory, they’ve become a staple in the Nashville scene, collaborating with chefs; supplying pasta to hot spots like Lockeland Table; feeding firefighters, first responders, and displaced families after the 2020 Nashville tornado; and regularly being included in Nashville’s Best year-end lists. They opened their first restaurant location in East Nashville in 2016 and quickly became a favorite for their quality, fast casual food, and late night hours. The brothers both have roots in the music industry, so on any given day you might find Catfish and the Bottlemen or Grace Potter in line ahead of you grabbing a pasta bowl before a show.


The Nicoletto’s logo has a feeling of heritage and premium quality. We also developed secondary seals that celebrate Nicoletto’s roots and selling points.

Nicolettos Logo secondary marks

Brand Tone and Visual Language

The Nicoletto’s brand voice reflects its founders, Danny and Ryan: focused on great quality without the high brow, pretentious BS. The messaging is easy-going. The color palette is classically Italian, drawing from vintage Vespa paint colors paired with stark black and off-white type. Typography is casual but elevated, featuring our own fonts Santa Ana Sans and Beverly Drive Right, and Mike Breen’s P22 Mackinac for body copy.


hoodzpah nicolettos packaging sauce jar grid 01


Wholesale & Packaging System

hoodzpah nicolettos packaging stack detail 01

Bigger Diecut Window

The window of a Nicoletto’s box is purposefully double the size of most competitors. You can easily see the beautiful, tasty, bronze-cut dried pasta noodles.

hoodzpah nicolettos packaging multi panel system view 01
hoodzpah nicolettos packaging tall stack

Scalable Packaging Design System

Nicoletto’s packaging system features a consistent retro, Italian inspired design, with pasta cuts differentiated by color. On grocery shelves this makes for a gorgeous, curated rainbow, like a lineup of vintage Vespas, that stands out from the other brands.

hoodzpah nicolettos packaging group hero 01

What Nicoletto’s wholesale vendors are saying…

“Only had the pasta in store for a couple of days and it’s flying off the shelves!”

“Delicious, adorable”

“Great product, moves well”

Nicolettos custom Packaging flat Hoodzpah no shadow
Nicoletto's Dried Pasta packaging and Marinara Sauce label dielines.
Nicolettos Bronze Cut Holds More Sauce Hoodzpah

Demistify “Bronze Cut”

Many pasta brands tout bronze-cut noodles, but what does that mean? We saw an opportunity to connect with the younger demographic of shoppers that love high quality food, but may not be as versed in the lingo. In short: “Bronze-cut holds more sauce.” And truly, who doesn’t want that?

hoodzpah nicolettos packaging sauce jars stacked 01
Nicoletto's Marinara jars are consumer packaged goods at their finest.

Illustration Style

Nicolettos Illustrations
Donelson Nicolettos Storefront Mural Nashville Hoodzpah
Donelson Nicolettos Storefront Mural Nashville Hoodzpah
44 KelliDirks Nicolettos Donelson Mar 2023
Donelson Location Menu Board

Placemaking, Signage, Murals and More for Nicoletto’s Italian Kitchen Restaurants


Each Nicoletto’s location is unique, with menu offerings often varying by location. We set up a design system that made opening new locations easy while still creating consistency with the core restaurant branding. This included layouts for:

— menu boards
— illustrations for tray paper, locations, events, etc.
— fresh pasta boxes 
— various interior and exterior signage
— mural design

25 Kelli Dirks Nicolettos Italian Kitchen
Daily fresh pasta available at all locations
Nicolettos build your own pasta bowl
Nicolettos build your own pasta bowl
29 Kelli Dirks Nicolettos Italian Kitchen
Plated menu item from Hillsboro Village location.
Nicolettos meatball sub on tray paper hoodzpah lighter

To-Go Packaging

Nicolettos fresh pasta boxes hoodzpah crop
Nicolettos fresh pasta boxes to-go boxes
Nicoletto’s fresh pasta boxes for daily pasta specials in the restaurant locations.
Mascot out front Nicolettos
Mascot out front Nicolettos
The Nicoletto’s noodle mascots we designed in 2015 as life-sized cardboard cut outs.
Nicolettos Nashville Mural Hoodzpah
Nicolettos Mural in Nashville
Donelson Nicolettos Pick Up window Hoodzpah
Donelson Nicolettos Pick Up window Hoodzpah

More of a good thing

Creepy gif from The Simpsons of homer patting couch, telling you to come and sit

Join Usssss

The newsletter no one asked for. Thoughts, latest work, and shop deals. Earnest and lightly seasoned with typos.