Yuga Labs, owner of the CryptoPunks brand, has quietly released a new Brand Hub for the iconic collection. The website, created in partnership with Alright Studio, serves as a catalog for Punks, helping people learn about the history of the collection, explore traits, and much more—all packaged in a slick, interactive format.
It isn’t a replacement for the CryptoPunks marketplace that creators Matt Hall and John Watkinson built into the project’s contract—or for the Yuga-built website on top of the marketplace, Natalie Stone, Yuga’s general manager for Punks, told nft now. “This hub is not a replacement for the marketplace, full stop,” she said.
“The Punks marketplace is critical to the ecosystem and such an important piece of digital art and code. The hub is ancillary to the marketplace – and serves a totally different purpose. We see the hub as a living archive of where we’ve been and where we are going,” she told us.
For many of us in the Web3 space, the history of Punks is a kind of ubiquitous, ambient force. But as time passes since the Punks’ 2017 launch, an official educational resource for the collection has become more important.
“A lot of our efforts have been around this concept of ‘restoration’—making sure we collate and consolidate the important imagery and stories of the project and make that information more accessible. The hub is a place to track updates on the current state of the project while also giving folks who are ‘new’ to CryptoPunks a way to understand its historical and cultural importance, as the collection cements its place in art history,” said Stone.
The various collections linked with Yuga Labs are wildly distinctive in a visual sense—and none more so than Punks, whose artistic vision came to life well before their ultimate purchaser, Yuga, was even conceived as an idea. Hannah Wexler, Lead Art Director for CryptoPunks, kept Punks’ unique style at the forefront of her mind when designing the Hub. “It was important that the site capture the same tension between nostalgia and innovation as the CryptoPunks collection, reflecting both the past and future,” she told us.
The core of the Hub is a grid where a viewer can scroll through the various Punks, or leaf through them like pages in a magazine, easily finding the attributes—and owners—of each one.
“Where we landed with Alright Studio is a meaningful interpretation of early internet culture and modern brutalism, filled with subtle nods to the pixel origins of the Punks. We wanted to be intentional with the design, grounded in a grid system that creates a museum-quality gravitas and playful dynamism. Ultimately, form follows function,” she said.
Wexler and her co-lead Art Director Carson Keeling worked with Alright to make the Hub something easy for a Punks novice to explore that still offers a satisfying amount of detail to veteran collectors.
“When we set out to build this site, we knew we needed something dynamic to suit the ever-evolving digital landscape, something that allowed us to experiment with flexibility. The homepage’s modular columns allow for densely packed detail inside a simple system. A snapshot of the current moment. We hope the Index educates and informs a wider audience of Punk-curious people while also being a user-friendly way to explore the collection. There are also a few easter eggs the community hasn’t noticed yet,” she told us.
In its effort to introduce broader audiences to the history, context, and provenance of CryptoPunks, the new Hub is not alone. nft now produced a series of podcasts, “Punks As Told By CryptoPunks,’ in partnership with Yuga Labs, interviewing notable Punk holders such as Claire Silver and Alexis Ohanian–and even interviewed creators Matt and John.The entire series can be found on the Hub–and here on nft now.
The new Hub comes in the wake of the recent release—and temporary removal—of the official CryptoPunks wrapper. “We are aiming to relaunch [the wrapper] next week, pending audits,” promised Stone.