Our 75th Anniversary has prompted me to reflect on our company’s history and how we apply the founding principles in our business today.

By 1942, F. H. Lawton and Son had grown to eight employees so the company moved out of the chicken coop to a location downtown at 608 N. Monroe. Much of our early success came from doing work that other printers thought was too difficult. “Our company was built on the concept of superior personal service”, Ray Lawton said in a press release in 1990. Here are just a few examples:

  • During World War II, Lawton was awarded a contract with Navy supply warehouses and the Manhattan Project. We produced and delivered up to 40 jobs a day for just this contract.

  • From the mid-1950’s through the mid-70’s, Lawton produced the daily telephone number changes for the 509 area code. The updates would come in at 7:00 am, we would make the changes, print the directory and have it delivered to Pacific Bell by 11:00 am. It began as nine forms needing six or seven copies. At the end it was 200 forms and over 30 copies.

  • A similar time sensitive project was the daily racing programs for Playfair. We would receive the final information at 8:00 am and have to deliver programs by 11:00 am. Lawton was awarded this work because the racetrack’s original printer was unable to meet the deadline.

  • After the November 19, 1996, ice storm, we were contacted to produce a book based on The Spokesman Review’s reporters stories and photos that were published from the day of the ice storm until early December. The 96 page book was produced and available for purchase by December 19, 1996.

  • We have worked for many years with the Women Helping Women Fund producing the marketing collateral for their annual luncheon.  In 2014, they approached us looking for a way to better streamline and track who attends their luncheon, what that person donates that year and a faster way to know how much that year’s luncheon raised. Within a few weeks we designed, built, tested and launched the new database – in time for their May luncheon.

Our business was founded on the commitment to deliver what our customers needed and expected on time and on budget. We were asked to turn jobs that no other printer in the area could do, and we delivered.  Today we continue to meet those expectations by striving to add value to our clients’ projects through team-oriented, solution focused customer service.