In this issue, we welcome Deni from FROGSTONE. From punk rock to cartoons, FROGSTONE takes its inspirations across various cultures and media forms. How does one take that initial spark and create actual designs and pieces from them? Let’s find out!
Nana : Can you give us an introduction to “FROGSTONE”?
Deni : Frogstone (pronounced: frogs-tone) is a clothing brand founded by Dedi Rokkinvisual, Ari Hamzah, and me in 2004 at Yogyakarta. The Indonesia-based company incorporates their trademark attitude and personal
perspective on street subculture. Frogstone caters to punk rock, skateboarding and youth culture at large.
After 18 years of our journey, Frogstone is now only run by Ari Hamzah & Deniadit. The concept and graphics that we carry are not far from music, especially punk rock and 90s skateboarding graphics. Bad Religion, NOFX, Pennywise, Blink 182, Black Flag were music that was close to my daily life at that time which then influenced the overall concept of the Frogstone starting from the music, album artwork, and the attitude. To sum it up, what I listen to influences Frogstone and then I sound it out to my partner, Ari Hamzah who has
agreed with my vision. Ari Hamzah is a professional punk drummer whose career has spanned the Indonesian punk rock scene and he is my partner in running Frogstone. The journey was certainly not easy and this has pushed Frogstone to become a strong brand internally. We exchanged ideas, racked our brains,
and finally complemented each other, making Frogstone an honest brand so that the messages we deliver to our audiences and the concepts are not far from our lives.
Also, I often listen to punk rock band above whose lyrics are very sharp and catchy. Especially the lyrics that raise political issues, social issues, and women rights. Incidentally in Indonesia, these problems are
deep-rooted in our rich land, in fact they are getting hotter nowadays. Through Frogstone, we also raise these issues through our graphics, audiovisuals, and photo sessions.
Nana : Why did you name the brand “Frogstone”?
Deni : The name Frogstone itself was inspired by the album Silverchair -Frogstomp (1995) and then we simply made a parody of it into Frogstone from the two words frogs & tone (frog sound).
Nana : What are some of the inspirations behind the brand?
Deni : I have already answered in point number one. Basically, we are inspired by pop culture, punk rock band graphics, 90s skateboarding graphics & cartoons. If it is explained further for cartoon graphics, for example; Felix The Cat, Disney black and white era, Garfield, and others. And yes, the street art from Shepard Fairey also known as Obey Giant is definitely my favorite.
Nana : What is something that your brand value the most?
Deni : We grew up in the music community. Apart from sponsoring our own friends, we are also actively involved in making gigs to facilitate our friends to play with their bands. We also have and run our own record label called frogsrec, you can check it on our website www.frogsrec.com.
Nana : How do use social media for your brand?
Deni : We also use social media as a platform to show off our collections and use it as a medium to promote our friends’ works in the fields of music, skateboarding & events that are worked on by friends. One more thing, our social media, especially our twitter account, posts stupid memes that we find.
Nana : Can you tell us about some of the most challenging experiences you have had during
the process of building your brand?
Deni : The era of 2004 was very difficult for us to build or introduce to the public. The internet in our country, Indonesia, is still very difficult to access. We have a hard time getting references. To get referrals, we ask our friends who are traveling abroad to buy band releases and skate or fashion magazines so that we stay aware of current trends back in the day. Besides that, there were almost no more references in that era. 10 years later we finally can enjoy the internet more easily and of course references are easier to find. In addition to the lack of references in the era of 2004, the production equipment was not sufficient.
Nana : How do you decide on themes for your collection?
Deni : For graphics, it’s quite easy because Frogstone only “plays” the logo.
Nana : Can we know a little about your next collection?
Deni : Our next collection will collaborate with one of the most talented young artists from Yogyakarta and Bali. Responding to our logo with the theme of Frogstone’s 18th birthday, that’s enough for a surprise. Curious right? But I guarantee this collection will be very cool and also scary at the same time.
Nana : Is there a particular artist, movie, place, book that you would recommend our readers to
check for inspiration?
Deni : I recommend Shepard Fairey for international artists. For local artists, especially in Yogyakarta, Eko Nugroho. He has works that are already worldwide and have collaborated with Louis Vuitton. And for the last artist, I recommend The Popo from Jakarta, his work is witty and full of social criticism. Then there is a very good colossal film entitled “Saur Sepuh” (1987) written by Niki Kosasih and directed by Imam Tantowi, you have to watch it or regret it for the rest of your life.Speaking of books, I recommend “This is Not a T-Shirt” by Bobby The Hundreds and another book “Do What You Want” by Bad Religion.
Nana : Do you have any advice for our readers who are seeking to find a way to build a
distinct and clear brand like “FROGSTONE”?
Deni : Do! Be consistent, keep learning and be the best for yourself. Hope, Faith & Pray.
“Hope, Faith & Pray.”Deni of frogstone