Case Study Experiential Graphics Experiential Marketing

Barilla x Nordstrom NYC: The Love Experience


In a delightful celebration of love and cuisine, Barilla America, renowned as the world's leading pasta producer, re-introduced their charming heart-shaped pasta in honor of Valentine's Day. Building on the momentum of the previous year's successful introduction, Barilla aspired to go bigger by amplifying this year's release of their Love Pasta with an engaging, immersive in-store experience at Nordstrom's flagship location, Jeannie's, in NYC. For the month of February, guests are invited to savor dishes crafted from Barilla's signature pasta amidst a captivating Barilla-themed Valentine's setting.

At BluEdge, we had the opportunity to bring this imaginative collaboration to fruition. Our experiential team transformed Jeannie’s Takeover into a Valentine's spectacle, complete with Barilla-themed decor, scaled heart-shaped pasta chairs, a heart tunnel selfie station, and a photo booth design resembling a Barilla pasta box. Our goal was to create the one-of-a-kind, immersive, in-store experience that kindled the joys of Valentine's Day for every guest.


Scope of Work

Working closely with Barilla and Nordstrom Logistics team, we developed several designs of the Jeannie’s Takeover displays and structures. The development process ensured that each element was:

  1. Aligned with Barilla's creative vision
  2. Fully functional as per design intentions
  3. Designed for user-friendly installation
  4. Designed for effortless transportability

The final deliverables included:

  • "Heart Tunnel" Selfie Station
  • 2 "Love Seats" Barilla Heart-Shaped Pasta Chair
  • “Stepping into Love Box” Photo Booth
  • Host Stand Vinyl Graphics Wrap
  • Event Signs & Poster Stands




1. Ideation

The Barilla heart-shaped pasta and pasta box design served as the primary inspiration. The goal was to create a “wow” factor at first glance. Collaborating closely with the Barilla Creative team, we selected and refined designs based on their vision and practical considerations.

2. Value Engineering

With the selected designs, we applied principles of value engineering to balance functionality with cost-efficiency, and to simplify the logistics of transportation and installation. This process involved in-depth research, prototyping, and strategic planning, to form a comprehensive build strategy.

3. Fabricating the Elements

Heart Pasta Tunnel Selfie Station

The tunnel was crafted with plywood and half rounds to create the classic ribbed texture of Barilla's pasta. The piece was then painted yellow, further adding to the illusion of a giant piece of pasta. Two Barilla logos were attached to the exterior and “Place phone here” text in the bottom interior of the tunnel.


Love Seats

Also Inspired by the shape of Barilla's heart-shaped pasta are these two "Love Seats", crafted with plywood and half rounds to create the rib effect. One chair was created with the rib effect on the chair's exterior, while the other had a smooth exterior and an interior lining of the rib effect. Both were finished in yellow and a Barilla Logo attached.


Stepping into Love Box Photo Booth 

Designed to mirror the Barilla Love pasta box, this photo booth was built using medium-density fiberboard and wrapped with printed vinyl graphics. A giant heart-shaped cutout echoes the heart-shaped window of the pasta box, showcasing the heart pasta within. Inside, the walls are adorned with Barilla Heart Pasta, replicating the contents of the actual pasta box.

To streamline the installation and transportation, the booth features a clever strip lox mechanism for easy assembly and disassembly. Additionally, LED lights were fitted to ensure optimal photo lighting.

4. Print Work

Host Stand Vinyl Wrap

To unify the atmosphere and welcome visitors, we printed and wrapped the host stand in vinyl graphics, accentuated with three-dimensional heart decals.


Event Signs & Poster Stands

Poster stands and event signs were positioned around the restaurant’s entrance, inviting guests into the space.


5. Installation

Once all designs had been built, our team transported and assembled each display. We carefully wrapped the host stand graphics, installed the photo booth, positioned the structures in their place, and worked out the final touches for the space.



The Balance Between Aesthetics and Functionality

The design of the heart-shaped pasta chairs demanded a blend of playful charm to reflect the campaign's spirit with the essential stability and comfort expected of functional seating. Merging these aspects called for creative engineering, thoughtful consideration of the heart shape's various angles, and careful material choice to achieve a final product that fulfilled all criteria.

Engineering for Ease of Installation

The substantial dimensions of the pasta box photo booth posed a dual challenge: ensuring ease of transport and simplifying assembly. We used a clasping mechanism that united the booth's sides, guaranteeing swift setup and breakdown. This strategic design choice preserved the booth's aesthetic appeal while providing mobility and user-friendly installation.

Building with Perspective

The creation of the selfie heart tunnel presented the challenge of accommodating a wide range of phone sizes while providing an exceptional experience for every user. Our team conducted extensive research and development (R&D) and created prototypes to explore shape and function. We considered how a user might comfortably place their phone within the tunnel, the compatibility with the largest of smartphones, and the optimal spacing surrounding the phone for capturing the perfect selfie. Through multiple rounds of testing, we came to a finely tuned design that accommodated all of these factors, ensuring a universally satisfying user experience.

Final Thoughts

BluEdge is proud to have been a part of Barilla's Valentine's Journey, transforming a space into a vibrant hub of joy, excitement, and love—a place where families and friends can create cherished memories. This project celebrated the fusion of creativity and the nuanced art of experiential design, drawing inspiration from the simplistic elegance of Barilla pasta to construct an immersive, large-scale, playful environment. It showcased the expertise and effort invested in research, engineering, and construction to materialize structures that not only fulfilled functional requirements but also maintained an air of simplicity and charm.

As February unfolds in NYC, we invite you to experience the warmth of this celebration at Jeannie’s Takeover in Nordstrom—indulge in the pasta and immerse yourself in the essence of the Barilla Love Experience.

Jeannie's Takeover on Nordstrom NYC's Tik tok: 


It’s all love from Barilla Pasta this Valentine’s Day! Visit Jeannie’s and try our heart-pasta dishes and take home a box for yourself for a limited time! 💝🍝

♬ original sound - tay

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