In 2020, PressOn worked with Harrods to transform one of their most iconic spaces – the fine jewellery room. This section of the famous department store is emblematic of the style, class, and luxury quality the retailer is world-renowned for, and print projects in this environment need to adhere to stringent visual and practical standards.
Faced with a series of unique challenges, including a priceless and irreplaceable surface for the prints, PressOn took a pragmatic, creative approach to the brief, delivering and installing a series of graphics which met the highest standards of quality – while taking active steps to reduce the overall environmental impact of the project.
The fine jewellery room at Harrods has been a cornerstone of the luxury jewellery market in the capital since the 1990s. For this particular project, Harrods wanted to install a series of striking but elegant graphics, with space-themed designs. Stars, galaxies, and planets formed an impressive backdrop for the various windows, creating a clear contrast and inviting shoppers into a space that felt truly otherworldly.
The prints required totalled 394 linear metres, which is roughly the size of the Empire State Building with the ‘H’ from the Hollywood sign on top…
The fine jewellery room is an immersive, immaculate, space which exudes luxury – meaning any visual media such as print needs to meet exceedingly high standards of quality, in both aesthetic and practical terms. This means careful consideration needs to be made to the materials and processes involved.
To make this space uniquely challenging, and to compound the high standards required, the walls which would act as the canvas for several of the prints in this project are made of a priceless Italian onyx; the mine this onyx came from no longer exists, meaning that these walls are truly irreplaceable, and so it’s crucial that any printed medium has no impact on the surfaces. From installation to removal, the walls have to remain completely unscathed and unmarked. The onyx walls are also backlit, and the prints had to allow the light to shine through, illuminating the designs.
PressOn is also actively working to reduce our environmental impact – committed to being a totally zero-landfill supplier in 2021, we have been taking proactive steps to reduce our emissions, carbon footprint, and more. All of these considerations made this project a unique challenge, and one which needed to meet a number of carefully-balanced criteria, while still providing the visual clarity and quality that Harrods expected.
While this was certainly a challenging proposition, PressOn took a creative and pragmatic approach to the project, carefully considering each element, from the materials used to the installation and removal processes involved. It was clear that an ultra-low adhesive substrate was required, in order to protect the onyx of the walls and ensure no residue was left behind, or damage inflicted.
While the importance of low-adhesive vinyl was evident from the get-go, there was an additional factor to consider; the areas in which the graphics were to be located are not temperature controlled, meaning that the environments can get fairly warm – this meant PressOn had to provide graphics which were low-adhesive, but strong enough to withstand high temperatures, all while allowing the backlit walls to shine through.
While this was a challenging brief, PressOn were able to identify a substrate which would not only meet all of these requirements, but was also available from a UK supplier – meaning we were able to reduce our carbon footprint from the very earliest stage of the production process. The graphics were also printed using our HP Latex printers, which utilise water-based inks – this reduces emissions, with the energy-efficient air drying process employed on the Latex lowering overall environmental impact.
PressOn also took steps to ensure that provisions were in place for removal, to ensure that no materials were sent to landfill. We are working towards a target of zero landfill for 2021, and this project follows that template closely: any waste generated from the printing and installation process is removed, and then either recycled or sorted for energy recovery.
While many of the careful steps taken to ensure the graphics were suitable for the fine jewellery room are not visible to the naked eye, the aesthetic quality of the graphics were no less precise. This project is a fantastic example of how with the right specialist suppliers, large format printing can provide the highest level of visual impact – while meeting even the most challenging criteria for production and installation.
The fact that suppliers such as PressOn are able to meet the challenges of projects like these while adhering to a forward-thinking approach to environmental impact is also significant – it’s more than simply a welcome bonus, it’s an example of how print can produce the finest quality graphics, without a costly and damaging effect on the planet.