ArtLab researches . . . How The T-Shirt Began!

T-shirts started off as underwear. During the First World War, European soldiers wore them underneath their uniforms to keep warm. American troops copied the idea and started calling them ‘T-shirts’ because of their T shape

In the 1950s, movie stars like James Dean shocked the world by wearing their T-shirts as proper clothes on telly. It caught on fast and by the 1960s T-shirts had taken over. Sports teams, clubs and rock bands were all using colours and logos on their ‘tees’ to get noticed. During the 20th century, the T-shirt went from military-issue wear to an iconic fashion statement, according to the “The T-Shirt Book,” a 2002 history of the garment by Charlotte Brunel. Brunel writes that the shirt went through several mid-century phases, as a symbol of heroism worn by World War II fighters, the rebel uniform of movie icons like Marlon Brando, the socially conscious garb of the 1960s peace movement, and the in-your-face costume of the punk rock scene. The T-shirt was also a democratizing force in the military because it was worn by all ranks, a philosophy extended to the civilian world when veterans “by the likes of Elvis Presley, John F. Kennedy as well as the working man” kept wearing the shirts after completing their service, Brunel said.

“In a word, the T-shirt is to clothing what the blank sheet of paper is to writing — a surface for imagination and free expression to run wild,” Brunel writes.

People are still using T-shirts to make statements. ArtLab can help you to make a statement too! Call us today for more information at 321.984.8844 or email

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ArtLab & Fashion Fit Tees

Once T-shirts made the jump from underwear to outerwear back in the glory days of black-and-white celluloid heroes like Dean and Brando, there was no going back. The tee became the go-to symbol of cool, relaxed, be-yourself confidence, and an American style staple was born. Everyday at ArtLab we print all kinds of t-shirts for our clients.

But the basic T-shirt has moved on from its simple origins, evolving alongside youth cultures like punk and hip-hop, becoming cheekier, more irreverent and – under the direction of industry leaders like Bella, Canvas & District Threads – much sexier. Deep V-necklines, chaotic burnout patterns, wild colors and super-snug fits all fight to augment the standard tee as it settled into a comfortably dominant niche in the imprinted tee industry.

These are still new frontiers for many customers, and the explosion in fashion tees hasn’t come without its share of anxiety on the part of clients unsure of how to market & use them. But the desire for retail-worthy wear is winning out. End-users want what they see in retail, they want to look fashionable, and sometimes they want fashion over comfort, but they want both. People want a retail-looking and -feeling T-shirt, and they want the best bang for their buck. If you get someone a better shirt, they are going to wear it 100 times more than an inferior product.

There is a reluctance in the market due to the saturation of cheap tees, and the extra buck or two a fashion-forward shirt may cost can influence the decision. Also the more form-fitting nature of fashion tees may frighten off clients who anticipate a less shapely end-user. These styles trend younger, and as such they are a natural fit for companies whose products resonate with younger demographics.

Along with the fashion-forward styles of today’s tees, there are branding rules that printers and their clients should follow. Chief among them, is to avoid large, complicated artwork and multiple logos. There has been a huge trend of minimizing colors in prints and designs. In stores, almost 85% of shirts are one to three colors max.

While the fashion tee has quickly burst onto the scene, suppliers say the trend isn’t going to be short-lived. It’s reenergized this market, we’re always going to sell a lot of normal T-shirts. But people want to look good, too, and it will only continue to explode.

Ask one of our experienced ArtLab sales staff to help you navigate the many different styles and fabrics available today. Check our online catalogs or stop in and pick up a hard copy, we are here to help.

Call ArtLab T-Shirts and Graphic services today 321.984.8844 or find us on facebook.

Churches, Mission Trips & Camps with ArtLab T-Shirts

At ArtLab T-Shirts in Palm Bay / Melbourne we have lots of area churches as clients. This time of year Churches are planning or doing Mission Trips both in and out of country. They need shirts to identify the group and to help them spread their message. Churches also have Vacation Bible School and various themed camps all of which go hand in hand with printing a message on a t-shirt. We are always glad to help with the design and we are thankful we have Faithful customers. Here are some recent examples. See more in our “Churches” gallery.

Featured Churches above are the Calvary Chapel in Melbourne, Florida with 72 Lime Green Dance Kingdom camp shirts. Rockledge Church of Christ in Rockledge, Florida youth group tees. First Baptist Church in Melbourne’s members are wearing the TipiTapa design on their mission trip to Nicaragua. St Helens Holy Cross in Vero Beach is also wearing their mission trip t-shirts too.

Call ArtLab T-Shirts today for shirts for your next camp, mission trip or other summer event. We will be here year round 321.984.8844

ArtLab in Palm Bay has USA Flags too!

June 14th is Flag Day here in our great country. I fly a flag in front of my home 365 days a year because I am proud to be an American. Some people only fly the flag for special occasions, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Fourth of July etc and that is okay. Show your pride and fly our USA colors! ArtLab T-Shirts in Palm Bay / Melbourne sells flags and we have 36″ x 60″ USA Flags in stock. Our US1D deluxe US Flags are constructed of the most durable 2-ply woven polyester with embroidered star fields, sewn stripes, double-stitch perimeter, quadruple-stitched fly section, “Box-X” corner tacks, heavy duty header, #2 rolled rim and spur brass grommets. Premium construction for our Florida high wind applications. Call or stop in TODAY and get yours, 321-984-8844 we have plenty 36×60 in stock and all other sizes available for order.

ArtLab prints t-shirts for Summer Camps

Summer Camp season is in full swing and we have been printing t-shirts for all sorts of Camps and Camp customers. Churches have vacation Bible Camps every summer, schools put on athletic camps and the local municipalities and counties all have summer camps to keep the kids busy as well. Examples shown here are from Covenant Christian Church of Palm Bay, Rockledge Christian Church in Rockledge, Satellite High School in Satellite Beach, First Free Will Baptist Church in Melbourne and the Devereaux Center in Viera, Florida.

ArtLab T-Shirts and Graphics – Whether you are promoting your Camps, Business, Event, School or Organization, ArtLab T-Shirts of Palm Bay / Melbourne is your one-stop  source for all of your promotional needs. LIKE us on facebook or call 321-984-8844

ArtLab T-Shirts for Schools

If you are looking at our school galleries you are seeing lots of high school work. Did you know we also do tons of Middle schools and Elementary schools too? Today I am featuring six examples of local Elementary or Middle school designs that ArtLab T-shirts has done in the Palm Bay, Melbourne and surrounding areas. Manatee Shores Elementary got t-shirts for their Brownie Troop in Viera, Florida. Central Middle School in Melbourne, Florida has done 42 t- shirts for their WolfPack design. Anderson Elementary of Rockledge is represented by two designs. A student tee and a tee for the PTA Spring Fling fundraiser. Our art director Matt Ginsburg’s kids Pete and Hayley go to Anderson. Go Eagles! St Josephs school in Palm Bay got t-shirts done for their school drama club play Aladdin. Sabal Elementary in Melbourne, Florida is represented by their Math Club t-shirt design.

Call ArtLab T-Shirts in Palm Bay for your school no matter what area you are in, we deliver too! 321-984-8844

Space Coast Harley-Davidson vehicle graphics by ArtLab

At ArtLab T-Shirts and Graphic Services of Palm Bay / Melbourne we do not just do t-shirts. Look through our galleries for signs, decals, banners, vehicle graphics and other promotional products. Recently we were approached by Space Coast Harley-Davidson in Palm Bay to design and apply graphics for their new Ford F150 crew cab. The following pictures show the results, looking good . . . and it advertises for them everyday it is on the road or parked in the lot. Vehicle graphics are a bargain in the advertising world, you pay once and the vehicle works for you every day in and around the area where your business comes from.

Give ArtLab T-Shirts and Graphic Services today. We can help you design a killer vehicle layout, then make it come to life. We do shirts, decals, banners, signs, magnetics, business cards and many many more promotional items to help you make an impression.


ArtLab T-Shirts in Indian River & Martin Counties

ArtLab T-Shirts is in Palm Bay but we do printed shirts all over our region and beyond. Brevard County is our home but just to the south of us is Indian River County and thanks to our network of wholesale accounts we print for Vero Beach High School Fighting Indians, Sebastian River High School Sharks, Sebastian River Middle School, Vero Beach Elementary, and other Indian River County Schools and also Vero Beach Parks & Rec. Further south is Martin County where we have our work represented at Martin County High School Tigers, Ft Pierce Central High Cobras, the Westwood High Panthers and others. Here are some examples we have done in the recent past . . .

Just because we are not close to you does not mean that we can not do great t-shirt designs for you or your school / organization. Call today, we print and ship to all locations. Quality is guaranteed, virtual proofs via email and ON TIME customer service that is beyond compare.

Call today 321-984-8844 or email orders@ArtLab

Business is good for ArtLab T-Shirts

We do t-shirts for many businesses to advertise their products, create awareness or simply for employee identification. We can do as few as twelve shirts or we can print in the thousands, no job is too big for ArtLab t-shirts in Palm Bay.  Some examples done recently are shown here below. Cecil’s BBQ of Palm Bay uses a cute slogan to draw attention to his BBQ business, he has printed both mens and ladies styles that he gives away to his best customers. ArtLab drew a caricature of Michael O’Malley for his Palm Bay painting business t-shirts. Dairy Road Discovery Center of Melbourne orders hundreds of red youth and toddler shirts for their clientele. The Dance Factory in Palm Bay ordered over one hundred t-shirts for an upcoming dance recital which were sold to students and parents to commemorate the event. Matt’s Auto Detail just needed a dozen shirts printed for their West Melbourne based business. The Fight Club in Palm Bay printed 48 black shirts with a cool design we came up with based on their idea. Ground Pounder is a Melbourne area Bobcat Service that needed a dozen shirts for their employees. Haynes ATV & Motorcycle Service in Palm Bay ordered two sets of shirts for their two main groups of clients. They are printing 75 of each layout. He gives them away figuring his clients will wear them when riding, therefore spreading his message to other potential customers.

Let ArtLab T-Shirts of Palm Bay / Melbourne help you and your business grow! Promote your business service and products with high quality designs from our fantastic art department. Call today 321-984-8844, we make your business our business!

Artlab loves to Surf!

At ArtLab T-Shirts in Palm Bay and Melbourne, we know how to surf. We have been doing it for years, as a matter of fact, I got started in this business because I was airbrushing surfboards for a living in the late 70’s. Surfing is a great way to have fun and do it in a way that does not harm the environment. It is a pure form of enjoyment. Our old friend George Robinson has been teaching and preaching surfing for some time. His Space Coast Surf Camp is the oldest continuous surf camp here in Brevard County. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Space Coast Surf Camp and we designed a special t-shirt that will be given to all the campers. If you want more information about surfing camp go to to contact George and get signed up. One week long camps run throughout the summer, put your kids in Surf Camp this summer!

Here are the front and back designs for this years 1oth Anniversary Camp T-Shirt, printed in two colors on a Gildan Ultra-Cotton Texas Orange.

Contact ArtLab T-Shirts for cool t-shirt designs in Palm Bay, Melbourne and the surrounding areas, 321-984-8844

Design Galleries
Our Location and Facility
ArtLab T-Shirts & Graphic Services
1728 Agora Circle SE Unit C
Palm Bay, FL 32909

ArtLab T-Shirt and Graphics, located in Palm Bay FL, serves Businesses, Schools and Organizations in Brevard & Indian River Counties, including Palm Bay, Melbourne, Viera, Sebastian, Vero, and the Beaches. We also serve and ship to many regional clients throughout Florida and the Southeast.

ArtLab began business on December 1st, 2009. Owner Steve McElwee has been in the printing business for over 35 years! Steve started as an airbrush artist customizing surfboards for the Brevard County surf industry in the late 70’s, he also traveled the Florida Art Festival circuit every year selling original paintings. We provide clients with the highest quality, custom screen printed and digital products. Our outstanding art, customer service and fair pricing, set us apart from the competition.

Come visit ArtLab, your One Stop Shop for the best in custom t-shirts, sweatshirts, polos and caps. We also provide banners, decals, signs, vehicle graphics, magnetics and a full range of promotional products.

Try us today, satisfaction guaranteed!

Contact Us Today!