ArtLab T-Shirts and Graphic Services was founded in 2009, but our history of continuous service in the same location goes back many years before that. ArtLab was formed after our previous employer succumbed to the recession in 2008. Owner Steve McElwee purchased the Textile Printing equipment from the former business and took several key employees, who were facing layoffs, into this new venture. We stayed at the same location as the old business, but downsized, working harder and smarter.
Utilizing this experienced core staff that had been together for many years, Steve McElwee and these key employees turned a bad situation into a promising new start. We have not looked back since then!
ArtLab now does much more than just T-Shirts. We print and embroider on a full array of garments, tees, polos, sweatshirts, jackets, caps and more. We also do signs, banners, decals, stickers, vehicle graphics and a complete line of promotional products too! We have well over four decades of experience in the graphic printing industry. We serve a diverse client base in the Palm Bay, Melbourne, Viera and the Beaches areas, and also throughout Brevard and Indian River Counties. We also work through the internet, shipping across State or cross country.
Come to ArtLab T-Shirts and Signs for high quality printing and great customer service at a fair price. We can create immediate return on your investment for your company by providing highly effective t-shirt campaigns, custom production-ready graphics, signs, decals, banners and other high quality custom items to increase your presence, boost your sales and support your marketing efforts. Rely on ArtLab’s own in-house, full service art department, to transform your ideas into reality. At ArtLab, We Make You Look Good!
A Message from Owner and Founder Steve McElwee
I came to this area in 1974, soon after graduating from Broward College in Ft Lauderdale with an Associates Degree in fine arts. Surfing was my passion and traveling up coast to surf the beaches of Brevard County turned into a permanent move at that time. I supported myself by traveling to art shows and selling my artwork. I also got an apprenticeship at Harbor City Signs where I learned the art of hand lettering and custom signs. Soon thereafter I picked up the airbrush and learned how to use it in my artwork. That led me, with my surfing background, into the surf factories. There I airbrushed the color and graphics on thousands of surfboards, working for the likes of Dick Catri, Donnie Mulhern and Mike Tabling among others.
I freelanced, traveling from factory to factory every day (unless the surf was up!) painting a half dozen boards or more each day. My sign experience came in handy as I was trained to take any type of graphic and reproduce it faithfully. I started getting requests to do business logos and signs on surfboards. This eventually led me to start my first business, Ocean Air Art. I opened this business in an old building on the edge of the Indian River in Indialantic, right off of Fifth Avenue. There I designed logos and corporate identities for many new business start ups by my peers. Many of these businesses are now major businesses in this area. Among my early clients, I can list the likes of, Slug-A-Bug, Glover Oil, Brevard Pools, Commercial Investment Real Estate, and Certified General Contractors, not to mention the surfing industry itself.
As my business grew, I started a family and in 1981 I had a new son. Then things became serious. I now no longer had to make enough to get by and surf, I had a son to raise. Things were going okay, but in 1984 I was approached by Sign Design and Screen Printing to join them with an offer I could not refuse. When I joined Sign Design, I was the fourth employee on staff. We grew quickly, eventually at one time, employing over twenty people. We did screen printing and signs and also grew into tee shirts and textile printing. We expanded rapidly and got into the latest in digital printing, wide format printing, cad-cutting and more. During those years I greatly expanded my knowledge of the industry and made lasting connections that I still rely upon and utilize today. Sign Design then made a critical mistake and expanded, investing in the latest technology and equipment. This was right before the recession in 2008. When businesses went bad during that time, Sign Design was stuck with way too much overhead, the writing was on the wall. Therefore in 2009 when Sign Design broke up, I parted ways and started what we have now, ArtLab.
I took my thirty-four years of experience with me; now it was my turn to make the decisions and to make ArtLab a success! But not without the help of several long time employees. Darlene Purden is our office manager and now handles the daily scheduling and production. Darlene joined us in 2005 and was a key to ArtLab’s early success. Her friendly demeanor and outstanding customer service makes her very popular with our clients. Our full service art department is headed by Matt Ginsberg, Matt has been with us since 2004. Formerly from the Boston area, Matt grew up in his family’s printing business, therefore he has an extensive knowledge of the industry. Kevin Wright is our print production manager, he has been with us now since 2006 and he has the knowledge to make sure your job comes out right. These fine people form the core of our business and they have the same vision as I have and that is to utilize our combined skills to make our clients successful.
Our goal as professionals in the business is to make your experience with ArtLab as simple and easy as possible, and to provide the highest quality for every dollar you spend to insure your continued success. After all, if we make you look good, you will continue to support us. We believe in that sort of give and take and in supporting local businesses. What is good for our community is good for our business and yours, too. No matter how big or small your job is, ArtLab has the resources and the knowledge to get it right the first time. Our quality and attention to detail and customer service will keep you coming back for more. Please allow ArtLab T-Shirts and Sign Printing Services the opportunity to roll up our sleeves, go to work and show our passion for what we do! You will be glad you did!