Located in the Heddon Street food quarter just off Regent Street in the heart of London, ICE BAR London issued the challenge of achieving a world’s first by printing directly onto ice for their iconic venue. With their philosophy and brand paramount, nothing but direct to ice printing would suffice and an entirely new level of innovation in the use of print technology was required.
The production teams and the London SE1 facility set about using their versatile Jetrix KX7 UV flatbed printer, one of only 6 in the UK, to print directly onto ice in fine detail using its 6 picoliter head nozzles for razor sharp edge-to-edge HD.
By using multiple layers of white ink and varnish to ‘seal’ in the design and protect it against the elements, it was printed directly onto specially manufactured ice to withstand temperatures of -5 all year round. The UV lamps on the flatbed printer had to be put on the lowest setting to stop the ice from melting. Two ice blocks were delivered in a refrigerated van, went straight onto the printer and then back into the van in a matter of minutes.
With numerous machine modifications and planning to the ninth degree, the brief was achieved and the graphic - created by designer, artist and photographer Simon Fowler entitled “The Ice Queen” was printed directly onto ice at a thicknesses of 100mm. The work was recognised at the The Print, Design and Marketing Awards held in London and took home the ‘creative use of a substrate’ award.