The jailhouse offers a unique and memorable cocktail experience located in an old prison and guests are invited to experience prison with a cup of their favourite tipple in hand. From the moment you step foot through the door, there is no mistaking that you’re in for some serious rehabilitation, and you won’t find fancy crystal glasses or perfectly cut garnishes here.
The typography used was carefully selected to emulate the typeface typically used in prisons. The lines going through the typography are functional ones, and if you look at a prison, everything is built for function, including the typography. Splitting the letters like this also makes it easier to stencil them and they often used to mark out cell blocks or signs.
The weight of the typography and leading also lends itself to the industrial feeling of a prison, and using the breaking line in this manner helps to make the letterforms resemble the straight bars of a prison cell.
The drinks menu is based on the floor plan of the building, and there are several different sections to it, with each having their own characteristics. The four main sections are:
Section 1, Cell Block One: Where customers can purchase cocktails
Section 2, Guards’ Room: Where customers can buy non-alcoholic drinks
Section 3, Maximum Security: Where customers can buy strong cocktails
Section 4, Cell Block Two: Where customers can buy beer, cider and wine.
The decision to segment the building was made to stay true to the history and feel of the building as a prison.
We felt that segmenting the building helped to create a truly immersive experience for customers.When creating the menu, we wanted to get across the feeling of claustrophobia and the regimented nature of a prison, so we used the real floor plan and architectural drawings as a grind to set the typography.
All of the cocktails on the menu are named after prison slang words or prison culture in general. Each name has a comical or interesting relation, particularly if you are already familiar with prison slang or cocktails. Just a few examples include: ‘All Day’ which means a life sentence and is orange juice, tequila and grenadine, which is a tequila sunrise.
Using only one cup for all drinks may prove to be a bit boring and not offer the visual variety of fancy glassware. To combat this, we designed and curated some particularly potent or relevant prison symbolism and icons, which were engraved onto the cups as well as being used in other branding. We also ensured that there was an opportunity for visitors to make their own marks on the cups to further develop the style organically.
Inside the building, the atmosphere was very important. It had to run the fine line of being too realistic, without being uncomfortable. This is why there is a mix of realistic prison interior, using authentic prison furniture, alongside more traditional and comfortable seating.
There are also very clear and authentically marked sections in the building using the jailhouse typography style. These markings are not only there for ease of use and understanding, but there will also be large sections of the menu printed in their respective sections.
All staff wear authentic prison clothing and different sections of the building will have different types of clothing depending on their duties. This helps to further create the atmosphere and feeling of being in a real prison.