Without a burgeoning culture that embraced innovation, creativity and problem-solving among S-One’s founders, the company may have never developed.
In the early 1990s, just after the Americans with Disabilities Act was enacted, companies were struggling to quickly change the signage outside their facilities to include placards that had both printed words and Braille instructions on them. At the same time, digital inkjet printing was becoming the fastest way to print one-off posters that could be produced within a day.
S-One’s founders, Ron Simkins and Art Lambert, had the idea to use digital printing technology to print the wording on a substrate with ink, and then have the substrate embossed with Braille. The problem was that a substrate that could be digitally printed and then hold an embossing did not exist. That didn’t stop them.
Their team found the print chemistry and a way to coat a film that could create an attractive print and hold the emboss – it was also indestructible, which was important for long-lasting, durable outdoor signage. That film was called Lexan polycarbonate. They launched the first reverse-print plastic Lexan inkjet printable film and named it LexJet (which would also become the name of S-One’s first company). With each generation of new ink and printing technology, a new and improved version of LexJet was developed. Over the years, S-One and its subsidiary companies have created additional products that have solved major problems in the print industry. Here are just a few examples that forever changed the signage, tradeshow and floor graphics markets: