Commuter Industries founders, Robert and Glen, both loved the original Batman: The Animated Series as kids. It was such a tasteful and artful execution of a dark and truly deco world filled with simple shapes, curves, and sharp angles. A beautiful muted color palette defined and unified the world of Gotham with its stories and characters. We wanted to recreate it in the real world with high class grit and a tasteful nod to its comic book roots.
A central logo was created for the party. The design references Wayne Tower, a bat, police search lights, and a shady henchman. The Underground portion consists of swoopy and razor sharp merged serifs to further suggest the slimy interconnectedness of a dangerous and notorious underground network.
A custom set of high-end invites and save the date cards were created for the event as well as a digital email version of the invite.
The invites were printed on triple-thick cardstock (black on both sides and white in the middle) and screen printed at home with metallic gold ink.
The save the date cards were screen printed by hand in gold ink on triple thick cardstock (black on both sides with white in the middle)
Envelopes for both the invite and the save the date featured a lustrous gold paper interior and a custom sticker to seal them
A design language was established for the entire party theme that walked the line between elegant art deco and classic comic book. Check out all of the custom designed logos, signage, and gaming elements below.
The Interior Design
The goal when designing the space was to keep it open and uncramped, while also maintaining a cozy intimacy. We did this through elegant uses of grungey textures, gold, a mix of reflective and matte surfaces, and dramatic incandescent and halogen lighting. Swipe through the gallery below to view the space.
The space was completely transformed from floor to ceiling. Check out the before and after!
From the gritty aspects that featured rusted surfaces, dirty metal, patina’d gold, and grimy, sooty rocks, to the finer finishes that featured brass, gold, glassware, velvet, cherry wood, and clean graphic design, the interior space certainly was not lacking in diversity, texture or interest.
From the moment you stepped inside, the party was designed to be fully immersive. This included sound vignettes for specific areas of the space.
Upon entering the foyer, guests were surrounded by a gritty, deco cityscape, so distant sounds of the city including traffic, vehicle honks, police sirens, and shouts filled the space.
Play the sample below to hear the sounds of Gotham City:
We wanted to create an integrated lounge that would be a cozy conversation area where guests could relax. Echoey sounds of water dripping, boilers and distant machinery, and a screeching subway served as a subtle backdrop to the musical playlist of the party which included electro-swing and both modern remixes and original tracks from the 1940’s.
Play the sample below to hear the sounds of the Underground:
Going to the bathroom should certainly not take you out of the experience, so we made sure to bring the same design elements into the decor. As a fun sound element, we had a vintage art deco radio playing police radio chatter so all guests could stay on alert.
Play the sample below to hear the sounds of the Gotham City Police:
The theme of the night was gambling. Upon entry, each guest received a black velvet bag with poker chips to start betting with on the three central games of the party. The more chips you accumulated, the more tickets you could buy to enter the raffle of prizes at the end of the night.
This game was the showpiece game of the night. It featured a custom roulette wheel and fully customized roulette betting field. Depending on what section of numbers your spin landed on, you would have to answer a riddle via our custom iPad riddle serving app. The app was designed by our talented programming friend, Jon Liak, a project manager at Zynga. Players could bet on numbers, sets of numbers, colors, odds, evens, and right or wrong.
Pin the Evidence on the Commissioner
This game was our pin the tail on the donkey game. The set up consisted of a life-size Commissioner Gordon pasted to a large piece of custom cut sheet metal. Then, using printable magnet sheets, we printed and cut out pieces of evidence which included Mr. Freeze’s gun, Cat Woman’s pearl necklace, Scarecrow’s fear gas, Joker’s card, and a rose from Poison Ivy. The Commissioner’s arms were movable, so a group of players would put on the blinder masks, grab a piece of evidence and have a non-player reposition Gordon’s arms. The player in the group who pinned their evidence closest to the Commissioner’s hands would be rewarded with chips.
Pop the Cops!
This is a shoot-em-up game akin to the classic carnival BB gun games. We custom painted a Nerf dart tommy gun to look like a real gun that Al Capone might fancy. We then constructed a shelving system with angry, aggressive cops printed on foam core that were each on a hinge. The more cops you eliminated before you ran out of ammo, the more chips you earned.
The Food & Drink
The drinks and desserts were exquisite. Cocktails consisted of the following:
‘Crowed Fashioned – bourbon, mulled cider, bitters, brown sugar, orange
Acid Bath – vodka, lemonade, blackberry puree, lime
Minted Mayhem – gin, lime juice, ginger beer, mint leaves, simple syrup
Shooters were also served in plastic test tubes in ice bins lit with blue LEDs and featured:
50/50 – Bailey’s, Kahlua
Mad Love – Grenadine, half & half, chocolate liqueur
The desserts were works of delicious art created by the unbelievably talented Amanda Ngo of Paperheart Pastisserie and included a dark tiered cake with a gold deco geometric design, sugar cookies with custom designed, edibly printed villain icons, French macarons in black with gold metallics, charcoal macarons with splatters of deep red, cake shots with chocolate and two cubes of marshmallow dusted with espresso, and petite dark chocolate ganache tartlets with flecks of gold leaf. The beauty of her craft and the skill involved was unmatched.
This party could not have been possible with out the help of:
Scopious, Inc / Spencer Composites
(hours of labor and building materials)
Giggle & Riot
Milou & Olin
& all of our wonderful clients!
To see more of our work, please head over to Commuter.Industries.