How to create a Porsche NFT
Dive into the creation process of the first-ever Porsche NFT collection
Orange Porsche, black grill peeling off onto floor
Blending together physical and virtual worlds, the Porsche Web3 journey began with an innovative NFT collection dedicated to co-creation and community. Meet the masterminds behind this groundbreaking project
Brought to life with a base white Porsche 911 canvas and a huge range of possible trait combinations, the first-ever Porsche NFT collection pushed boundaries by bringing true personalisation to the forefront. So how did Porsche do it? Lars Krämer, Manager Innovation and Methods, and Patrick Vogel, Lead Designer of the project, tell us about how the first-ever Porsche NFT collection was created.
Man wearing glasses in black T-shirt with white Porsche logo
Lars Krämer, Manager Innovation and Methods, drew inspiration from the brand’s heritage as well as modern lifestyle for the Porsche Web3 project
Lars, where did the idea for a Porsche NFT collection come from?Lars “It first came about when I was thinking about how a real Porsche can become a virtual collectors’ item. I immediately wanted to understand the parallels and dissonances between the real world and the Web3 space. The key question was, how can we enable interactions with the virtual 911 on a monthly basis, something that’s comparable to weekend drives with a 911?“We use a dynamic NFT (dNFT), where the appearance and the metadata is changed during every so-called ‘trip’. Think of it like magazine subscriptions, where the subscriber receives a new part every issue. These kinds of magazines are comparable to our Discord and Twitter spaces. The overall concept was inspired by the ‘paint shop’ of a famous game I played in my youth, which is why each of these trips always ends with a paint or tuning shop. What’s more, the contribution from the cross-department Porsche team has taken the initial roadmap to a new level with exciting, money-can’t-buy holder events like a dinner inside the Porsche Museum or exclusive merchandise.”
Long dining table filled with people in Porsche museum
Night at the museum: Porsche NFT holders were given the opportunity to join an exclusive after-hours dinner at the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart
Patrick, how did you get involved as the lead designer on the Porsche NFT project?Patrick “The phone rang one day and it was Lars on the other end. I was so surprised that my initial reaction was, what could he possibly want? He explained that he’d heard about me and then looked up my work via my 3D agency, ALT/SHIFT, and wanted me to be involved in an NFT concept for Porsche. Once we’d ended the call, I was so excited that I delivered ideas that very same evening. I had no idea yet that I’d be with Porsche for the whole journey.” Had you worked on designing NFTs before?Patrick “I had my first touchpoint in 2021 in the middle of the NFT hype. I got in touch with a bunch of exclusive platforms and just like that I’d jumped into the NFT space. But then, the unimaginable happened – my father passed away out of nowhere. I’d lost my best friend, my biggest fan and my lighthouse.“I stopped making art for more than a year. In fact, I stopped just about everything other than my job, because I knew that my dad would want me to continue my career. To be honest, I didn’t care about making art anymore. It wasn’t until 18 months later, when Lars rang, that I stepped back into that world. What was even more surreal was the fact that my father was a huge Porsche fan. He passed away one year before his retirement, and he had dreamed about buying and restoring an old Porsche 911. The opportunity was both incredible and strange at the same time in light of this huge coincidence with my father’s passion. It’s the project that got me back into making art.”Did you also share a passion for Porsche like your father did?Patrick “I always liked Porsche too. Mostly because everything that Porsche does is timeless. It was working with the team, however, that really brought me into the Porsche family and turned my liking of the cars into absolutely loving them. Through hearing so much from those working there, such as the designers, I got the chance to find out so many insights.”
Porsche Web3 roadmap with text highlighting mint and phases timeline
The Porsche Web3 roadmap illustrates its exciting timeline during 2023
What’s unique about this NFT collection?Lars “The concept is based on the commitment and engagement of each Porsche NFT holder to influence the final look of their digital Porsche 911 through five individualisation stages. Let’s call it a fantasy Porsche art NFT configurator. In each monthly stage, the holder can influence the appearance by their own style decisions. This turns it into a special and personalised digital Porsche art car – an NFT that is truly influenced by its collector.” Patrick “It’s definitely this evolution over time that’s so special. These NFTs weren’t designed for quick buying and selling. The fact that your own individual decisions change your NFTs over months is amazing. What I believe makes it most unique is the fact that we actively listen to the community and incorporate their ideas and make the experience of being a holder as great as it can be. That leads me onto the utilities that come as part of being a Porsche NFT holder, which include exclusive in real life events. All of this together means I can honestly say that this is one of the most credible NFT projects out there.”You created hundreds of separate elements for these Porsche NFTs. How did you define the design language?Patrick “I always work without any kind of moods, which isn’t typical for an artist. For me, mood boards feel a little like copying. I really strive for the unique. Working on this project was great, as Lars is also a super creative person, and there was a lot of overlap with how we both were envisioning the design language. That’s part of why we’re so happy with how the designs of the roofs, bumpers and grills turned out.
White Porsche facing golden car sculpture. Two roads in darkness
Creative technologist Lars Krämer dreamt up the expansive Porsche Web3 concept for the NFT, while designer Patrick Vogel provided eye-catching digital designs
“When I first saw Lars’ grand roadmap, I was totally confused! I had to ask the guys to explain it to me very slowly [laughs]. This intricate concept with three roads and evolving cars was tough for me to understand, but once I got my head around it, we started to define how this world could look. The first thing I developed was a key visual around these roads – three worlds glowing in their main colour. This turned into a dark, Tron-like metaverse, with realistic aspects from the Porsche world, like the car sculpture outside the actual Porsche Museum. From here, we determined the cars and design traits.“I aim to create a bit of weirdness with my art that makes people smile. When I went to acting school when I was younger, I found that acting sad and angry was easy. But making people laugh? That was tough. And it’s a rule that really applies to other artforms. I feel I’ve done my job well if people have a good time while looking at my art. It’s why a lot of my work is so vivid. Some of my favourite Porsche NFTs so far have been the ones that have crazy psychedelic colour combinations.” What was the process like? How did you collaborate with each other?Lars “The design process was always characterised by a positive energy and a ‘can do’ mentality. We brought our different strengths and perspectives to the process. Patrick pushed artistic boundaries while always being mindful of the iconic 911 shapes. He did an excellent job on this balancing act between an art and product approach. My team’s job was then to incorporate that special Porsche flavour – such as the road themes and historic colours.”Patrick “On a personal level, we very quickly became a super cool team – Lars as the creative technologist and the brains behind the drop, while I delivered all the visuals to the best quality possible.”
Man in glasses in black T-shirt, tattooed right arm revealed
Lead designer on the project, Patrick Vogel, used his vivid style and masterful 3D artistry to bring the visuals to life
Lars “It was definitely an intense collaboration, too. We discussed and shared design ideas in every conceivable situation for months but created the first visual prototype within two weeks. Many of these initial elements exist in our digital 911 collection today. To achieve a typical Porsche look, we integrated further internal experts and developed the final style schemes of each road, colours and patterns together with Patrick. Our partners and road ambassadors VEXX, Chris Labrooy and FaZe Clan then did their own interpretations of details on the performance, heritage and lifestyle road. The outcome is a collection of special traits stamped with each partner’s individual touch.” How long did the Porsche NFT project take, from first idea to collection launch?Lars “My initial desire was to launch in the spring of 2022, but clarifying the final concept and the legal and technical framework took longer. This extra time spent was so important, as we gained further valuable skills and learnings which we can use for future initiatives. In the end, we wrote the creative concept for our digital Porsche 911 collection in the summer of 2022 – when Patrick also built the first visual prototype with me – and finally launched during the Art Basel event in Miami in December 2022.”What were the biggest challenges?Lars “A special experience, as well as the biggest challenge, was the mint of the NFT collection itself. The joy of having developed an innovative concept that fits a luxury brand as well as the disappointment of a rocky start – which was due to scepticism of some of the community at the time – were woven so closely together. Although the mint was not immediately successful on the first day, after asking our Pioneers community the project team and Porsche Director of Brand Management, Deniz Keskin, executed the community decision to cut the collection supply. Thereafter, the project was successfully positioned in the market, so I’m very proud of how we stuck together during this challenging phase, what we learned, and how we reactively adapted to steer the project onto a successful course.”Patrick “We also had a lot of time pressure, which is always a big challenge, but the team dynamic was so great that we didn’t feel this pressure in a negative way. That’s different to what I’m used to working on, such as the likes of 3D work for the real estate industry, where deadlines can be straining.”What have been your highlights so far on this journey into Porsche Web3?Lars “A lot of Porsche firsts! Our launch in Miami was a definite standout experience, as were our first airdrops at SXSW, our first Twitter Space, our first AMA (‘ask me anything’) on Discord. But my ultimate highlight has to be the chemistry between our artists – Patrick, Vexx, Chris Labrooy and Tarek from Faze Clan – as well as Deniz and I from the Porsche side. The energy in our creative sessions, the fun in the green room before panel talks and the panel talks themselves were amazing.” Patrick “I also loved SXSW. Having panel talks about the collection and getting the chance to talk with passionate people in real life was so important. I loved being on stage with the team. Throughout the entire project, I’ve above all appreciated the continuous support of Deniz and his constant great attitude.”The customisation uptake from Porsche NFT holders has been incredibly high – why do you think this element has so strongly resonated? Lars “It has always been our core hypothesis that Porsche enthusiasts would walk this path with us and enjoy the option of monthly customisation. It comes from the passion that exists for Porsche worldwide and that childhood dream that so many of us had to one day own a special, personalised Porsche. We have created the possibility to own your first Porsche as a virtual version, or even add a digital Porsche to your real Porsche collection.”
Porsche NFT cars with roof meadow and electric cables extruding
Surreal, dazzling and – above all – completely unique. Each holder is able to further customise their Porsche NFT
You are holders of your very own Porsche NFTs from the collection. Why did you choose the customisation options you did? Lars “Although I’m a fan of all the roads, my heart beats particularly for Heritage – especially for the colours and fabrics from the ’70s and ’80s. Plus, the first-ever Porsche Turbo and the 911 Carrera RS 2.7 are my absolute dream Porsche cars.” Patrick “I have three, so I could get one from each of the roads! Although I know all the design traits, there is the element of randomisation that means you never know exactly how your NFT will look until the end of each phase. I really loved how the style of each road (Heritage, Lifestyle and Performance) ended up, so I knew that I wanted to have a car on every one of those routes.”What do you think – and hope – the future holds for the world of Web3?Lars “NFTs enable new use cases that we didn’t know existed years ago, and I firmly believe in the technological benefits. My hope is that NFTs will be with us for a long time to come. What I wonder is how this technology will grow out of niche sub-culture and gain greater acceptance in daily life – particularly one that is less motivated by financial motives. This is the reason we try to push boundaries and designed our product for lovers of both art and Porsche, putting memories, playfulness and a community of like-minded people in the foreground. Simplifying processes in everyday life is one of my core motivations, so I always ask myself how I can simplify the ecosystem of collecting a Porsche (whether real or virtual), or how to make it even more fun.”Patrick “I believe the space offers so many opportunities for artists. Animation, visualisation and 3D art is nothing new, but you weren’t able to own this type of art before Web3. No matter if you’re a hobby artist or a world-renowned professional, you can access this technology and sell your work. The fact that you are now able to actually own digital art is incredible.“When it comes to Porsche specifically, I really believe in the future of the Porsche Web3 journey, and my biggest wish is to simply continue my work with the team and grow as an artist.”
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