Sabins Gadgeteering Lab is a website for Matt Sabins, a prop-maker who creates super-hero, fantasy, and other genre props for cosplayers. He needed a website that worked with the unique style he cultivates at the conventions where he drums up business. Deciding on a Mad Scientist theme, “Dr.” Sabins asked me to construct a page that would be visually appealing and play to the tropes of the mad scientist genre.


  • Unique Visual Look
  • Integrated Mobile Site
  • Integrated Social Media Logins
  • Custom Image Slider
  • Custom Featured Articles
  • WordPress Framework
  • Intuitive Navigation
  • Spam Registration and Comment Blocking
  • Custom Article Display

We worked through a couple of mockups and found a color scheme and style that fit what the client was looking for. We then set the site up with a wordpress base so the client could update the content on his own as he complete projects. We integrated many different features to showcase the newest items and make it easier to update, even modifying the underlying code to fit his needs.

“We need to say I MAKE THINGS!”

Showcasing The Product

Matt’s business is all about his props, and so we needed to showcase the awesome things he makes and sells. It also needed to be easy for him to update himself. I built custom features into the wordpress structure so he could continuously update the products as he created and sold them. Then we created multiple places where potential customers could see what he was making. Featured image sliders, latest updates, images in posts, ways to embed video. These were all used to showcase the props that Matt makes.

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The pictures Matt takes of his props are what really sells it, so we needed to make sure those came front and center. I integrated a lightbox structure that would allow any image clicked on to become the focus while keeping the site elements in the background, but still visible.

Everything Had To Scream Mad Scientist

Every bit of the Sabins Gadgeteering Lab site had to scream mad scientist. It fit with the persona he created and portrayed at conventions and it needed to be strong. I created graphics that said mad scientist by finding the right public domain images and using photoshop techniques to create the lightning and glows. I created graphics and used CSS techniques to enable the green glow throughout the site, evoking both radiation and a retro 80s computer screen. The effect works well for Matt’s branding and carries throughout the site, as you can see in the below video.

And of course it has to be mobile friendly


Separate Mobile Site

The page had to be mobile friendly, but the base design was so image heavy that it was hard to do. We settled on integrating a separate mobile site that would display all the information without sacrificing the look. We integrated the brushed metal backgrounds and the images, focusing on what was most important but would also load quickly. The result was something in  line with the main site but also easy to view on mobile devices.


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Stretching Your Wings

Getting to work on a site that has an interesting underpinning theme is always great, but all sorts of content can be made interesting. The theme of Matt’s site works because his audience works in a particular way. Understanding that is key. Every ecommerce site is different, and it all relates to who you are selling to. I enjoyed working on Matt’s site, and may have taken some of my pay in props he made.