25 Years of Innovation
Embracing change & ingenuity are keys to S-One's long-term success.

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:

A Dynamic Duo

Ron Simkins and Art Lambert were friends and coworkers over the years in the Midwest before they ventured to Florida’s shores to dream up a whole new approach for the printing and signage business.

On with the (trade) show

A few years after LexJet was born, the company developed an industry-changing adhesive product that not only protected the ink on printed trade show graphics, but also adhered to the print much longer than similar laminates of the time. Because the print wouldn’t peel away from the laminate, LexJet Exhibit Guard allowed trade show exhibits to be used more than once – a huge money-saving and production advantage for printers and their customers that had not been an option before 2000.

The result of this technology advancement was a major shift in the production of trade show graphics from screen printing to nearly all trade show graphics being digitally printed.

Safely Making Whites Whiter

In the early 2000s, digital printers lacked the ability to print bright white. The color white looked yellow and muddy under fluorescent lights, and printers had to use what’s known as optical brightening agents to make the graphics appear whiter. These OBAs were used in papers, plastics and textiles for years, but are considered toxic and harmful to humans and the environment.

S-One invented PreLume, a chemically safe optical reflection technology that made whites brighter and eliminated unsightly yellowing graphics for good – without the need for harmful chemicals. PreLume is an additive that can be mixed into the adhesives, coatings or films providing design flexibility to accomplish the bright white look.

Difficult Print Surfaces, Solved

In 2012, S-One received the Printing Industries of America’s InterTech Technology Award for the year’s best innovation as S-One developed the first transportable graphic application, Avatrex. (Other awardees that year included significant companies, such as Kodak, Fuji Film, Heidelberg and Sun Chemical.) Based on nanochemistry, the patented technology was used to digitally decorate difficult-to-print surfaces. Avatrex is a film that, once printed, takes on the texture, characteristics and shapes of the surface it is adhered to – anything from wood to leather to formed plastics.

Making Print Earth-Friendly

Most recently, S-One has joined the industry-wide effort to find environmentally friendly print materials to create a smaller carbon footprint while embracing the concept of a circular economy. In an industry that is dominated by plastic-based vinyl products and solvent coatings, there have not been many options for interior designers and architects to specify environmentally friendly materials for printed artwork. HP Recycled Satin Canvas, developed by S-One, is one of only a few options available to them now.

Printable canvas is a huge market segment in the industry, used for residential and commercial décor; mass-produced artwork for hotels, restaurants and corporate spaces; and one-off photo reproductions for consumers in neighborhood print shops. From a production standpoint, manufacturing of this canvas utilizes the same processes and technology as the industry currently uses to create polyester yarn for canvas, therefore, doesn’t add additional manufacturing costs in the way that many environmentally sustainable initiatives do.

This new recycled canvas is priced lower than most similar canvases currently available and performs as well or better than microporous canvases currently on the market in terms of image quality, instant-dry finishing and crack resistance (when wrapped on stretcher bars). This product provides a one-step solution for print operators by eliminating the need to add a layer of protective coating, as many comparable canvases require, further adding to time, production and cost savings.

Beyond Product Development

S-One’s internal technical support team created and launched the first website in the industry to feature a shopping cart and direct search feature. The company’s initial press release spent a significant effort to explain what an online shopping cart was, since it wasn’t widely understood in any industry. Today, S-One remains ahead of the curve and an industry leader in terms of customers’ technology experience.

Over the past few years, S-One has continually added features and capabilities to its websites and expanded its reach from North America to countries and languages around the globe. This vertical and horizontal expansion allows customers to have an unequal “direct” shopping experience that rivals Amazon in terms of information, availability and fulfillment options, and provides analytic information that allows S-One to deliver accurate and customized information and to consistently develop and add more to the customer experience.

When S-One combined all of its companies under one umbrella in 2012, it positioned itself as the vital link between product innovators, manufacturers and end users throughout the printing industry. The customer intimate and technical consultative approach that S-One pioneered in the digital print industry helped create a unique feedback loop between the end user and the S-One product development team.

This feedback loop provided accurate and detailed information about applications and process issues the end customer experienced, and allowed for greater speed of communication as new products were developed and tested.

Selfless Service

Put the welfare of the company, your customers and your colleagues before your own.


Embrace change with responsibility and conviction as a path to success.


Encourage an open environment where new ideas and opinions are welcomed.

Customers First

Be obsessive in creating a great customer experience.


Treat our teammates, partners and customers as they should be treated.


Hold ourselves accountable.