Digital Artefact & Contextual Essay (Moriboys)

For my BCM302 digital artefact (DA), I decided to venture away from my music journalism at Eject Music and AUD’$ that I completed earlier in my course. I’ve always wanted to have a clothing brand but it was never something I was passionate or brave enough to start. However, as my final goodbye to BCM and in the iterative spirit of Fail Early, Fail Often (the quicker you learn it, the sooner you’ll succeed), I’d like to present my last DA for the University of Wollongong (Rosman, 2018).

Moriboys is a Wollongong-based brand dedicated to Australia’s streetwear and hip-hop culture. The brand can be found on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Pinterest and Spotify, as well as on our Squarespace website. From my experiences of interviewing and collaborating with different people in the music industry, the main issues I’ve identified is the lack of high-quality merchandise and alternative income streams for artists.

To create meaningful innovations, I continue to work with AUD’$ as a way of understanding and emphasizing with my users and their audience (Plattner, 2010). My obsession with providing service to Australia’s hip-hop culture is what compelled me to find even more ways I can do that and combined with my passion for creating and experimenting with new skills, this is where the social utility of my DA lies.

Vincō, Street X and No1.Network are three Australian brands that I have taken inspiration from in regards to their contributions to the Hip-hop scene. The three of them support the local culture by hosting events and selling their own products including collaborative pieces with artists. There are a few other brands like this across the country but I’d argue they’re the biggest three for the scene. What I feel sets me apart from these guys is that when I do start collaborative work, it’ll be ideally more consistent and with a wider variety of different artists, designers and creators.

The target audience of Moriboys is largely male-dominated, typically aged between 18-25 with interests in Australia’s unique hip-hop scene and fashion style. I’ve found that the majority of my audience is based in Wollongong and Bathurst, where I currently live and my hometown. However, I am starting to build an organic following from people who have come across my account. Here’s how each social media is tracking:

Instagram: 195 followers

Facebook: 159 followers

Twitter: 31 followers

TikTok: 25 followers

There’s a direct correlation between the social media I was most active on and what platform has become my most engaged. Instagram averages 30 likes per post and has been my primary platform, allowing me to share mock-up designs, samples, stickers and posts about the regularly-updated Spotify playlist, Moriboys Music. The playlist has been an opportunity to showcase the diverse hip-hop/R&B talent from across the country, soundtrack the release of Summer I Collection and network with artists I hope to collaborate with. It also gave me a chance to repurpose content across platforms and maintain a more consistent posting routine, which has been one of the major flaws in growing my DA.

Due to time constraints and being overly posting precious, I haven’t been able to produce the desired quantity of content. In response to the feedback loops from the peer reviews, I have started to solve this issue by:

Refining Brand Aesthetic:


Pinterest was one of the earlier iterations I made to my project and has inspired me with clothing designs, content, aesthetic and brand positioning ideas and brand positioning that will “occupy a distinctive place in the mind of the target market” (Branding Journal, 2016). This was my first time using the platform and I’ve really enjoyed scrolling it even more than Facebook or Instagram. I found Pinterest useful to also routinely do a bit of market research on the brands I’m interested in and the ones I find, and also keep up to date with overseas fashion scenes.

Creating Short-Form Videos:


According to a 2016 study, the average human attention span is now eight seconds and one of the biggest contributors to the decline is the increased consumption of information (Sandikar, 2021). People share videos at twice the rate of any other form of content and 84% of people were convinced to buy a product or service based on the brands’ video (Wyzwol, 2020). With TikTok’s domination over the social media space in the last few years, it’s a no brainer that I should be posting more video content. Since the DA pitch, the number one advice I’ve received from peers has been to start utilising TikTok and Instagram Reels. I had little to no experience in TikTok and was simultaneously wildly inspired and terrified at the thought of prototyping video content. The biggest setback for this has been the postage delays and multiple lockdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic but with the right attention to planning and prototyping, I can create a stronger community by posting video content.

Recently, I posted a first look at the embroidered logo tees and posted it to Tik Tok and Reels. While Tik Tok felt like a bit of a void and didn’t gain much momentum, the same Reel reached an unexpected amount of potential users and in a couple of days after, I gained 30 new followers.

Plan, Prototype & Post:
For past digital artefacts, planning a production timeline has been pretty straightforward with the weekly job of curating, writing and posting an article. This semester has been more chaotic than most with Moriboys easily being my most labour-intensive and least FIST (Fast, Inexpensive, Simple & Tiny) implemented DA. While I had anticipated this would be the case, I’m only just now starting to receive the final products and properly plan content in the lead up to the release of Moriboys’ Summer I Collection. If you can’t tell already, I’ll be continuing my DA past the end of the semester so I’ve recently created a weekly schedule, along with an ideation list of various content. According to Instagram chief Adam Mosseri, posting 2 feed posts per week and 2 stories each day is ideal for building a following on the app (McLachlan, 2021). This is what I’m going to start working towards and when orders are shipped out it will allow me to repost people sharing their deliveries. So before the end of the year, I’d like to be adhering to this and if not, exceeding it.

One of the recent iterations I’ve made to my content has been the introduction of my Friends & Family list. Using the ‘close friends’ option on Instagram, I’ve decided I’ll share an early access link and discount code with my close friends and biggest supporters prior to the collection’s official launch. This creates a deeper and exclusive relationship with the Moriboys community that allows the brand to grow in demand before even the first collection.

Now, back to what I was saying regarding my DA’s biggest setbacks. Due to the postage delays and multiple lockdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, saving for, ordering and awaiting the arrival of the blanks has taken almost the whole semester. The main objective for my DA has been to release the first collection that includes the embroidered logo tee in black and purple colourways and a screen-printed matching tee and shorts set.

While delivering artists with an alternative income stream through high-quality merchandise is a key objective for Moriboys, it wasn’t achievable during the BCM302 semester. I wanted to release an exclusively Moriboys collection before beginning to work with someone else as it would help establish my brand identity and build my confidence in the production process before committing to a Moriboys collaboration. That being said, I’d like the collaborations and contributions to the Australian hip-hop culture to be the salience of the brand. I have spoken with a handful of different artists about potential collaborations and there’s one Melbourne artist in particular that I’m looking to work with next year.

Salience involves making a piece of information more noticeable, meaningful, or memorable to audiences. An increase in salience enhances the probability that receivers will perceive the information, discern meaning and thus process it, and store it in memory,” (Entman, 1993).

I’m not limiting my collaborations solely to artists but also just general collaborators that I’m interested in. For example, I’d like the Winter I Collection to include a collaboration with my Opa, Benedictus Mirande, a revered and retired Dutch artist who worked at C&A as the Art Director and freelanced through his company, Kangaroo Productions.

I’ve brought the idea forward to him and he’s finished up a couple of other projects so he’s itching for something else. This is something deeply personal to me and will test my photoshop skills but I’m excited to have more free time over the Christmas break to develop these further. Regardless, I’m getting ahead of myself because I still need to complete the website.

I have prototyped a range of different Squarespace templates before arriving at the current final iteration. The website features a clean white aesthetic with three tabs titled About, Shop and Sizing. The About page was initially only a couple of sentences about the brand’s conception and objectives but has evolved to include more context, a ‘Contact Us’ form and interactable social media widgets. The Shop needs the most attention as I have to take product shots and make the clothes available on the website. Lastly, the Sizing tab has been updated to include in-depth details regarding the products. Recently, I added a password screen over the website so I can add the finishing touches before officially launching the website. I’ve also created a discount code for free shipping on all orders over $100 and I’ll reveal the password on the F&F story as exclusive early access to the Summer I Collection.

In Dan Ward’s ‘Simplicity Cycle’, he states “the journey of design involves both learning and unlearning.” This has been the most challenging part of my digital artefact – to forget what I thought I knew about online marketing, social media presences and creating experiences for users (Plattner, 2010). I feel as though I’m stuck in the Region of Complicated where I’ve added unnecessary complexity caused by non-value-added parts (Ward, 2010). Not everything has been void of value because a lot of the work I’ve done this semester was behind the scenes work of starting my own company and clothing brand. Now that I’ve spent the semester getting everything ready and prototyping different designs, I’m now ready to start transitioning Moriboys into the Region of the Simple. By reducing the complexity of my DA, the reliability and simplicity of it will grow and further adhere to the FIST elements (Ward, 2010).

INSTAGRAMFACEBOOK
TWITTERTIKTOK

The best is yet to come – I’m excited for the future of Moriboys and Australia’s hip-hop culture so if you’d like to stay connected, all the socials have been littered throughout with hyperlinks, but here are they are one last time because I’m trying to get this word count up and repetition encourages and reminds users of the call to action (Assemblo, 2017).

Frank Tremain.

References:

Assemblo, 2017, ‘Repetition is Key: Why Frequency Makes Your Marketing Effective’, Assemblo, accessed 27 October 2021, available at <https://assemblo.com/blog/repetition-is-key-why-frequency-makes-your-marketing-effective/>.

Entman, R M. 1993, ‘Framing: Toward Clarification of a Fractured Paradigm, Northwestern University, accessed 30 October 2021, available at <https://commsociety.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/entman_framing.pdf>.

Marion, 2016, ‘Brand Positioning Definition’, The Branding Journal, accessed 27 October 2021, available at <https://www.thebrandingjournal.com/2016/11/brand-positioning-definition/>.

McLachlan, S. 2021, ‘How Often to Post to Social Media in 2021’, Hootsuite, accessed 28 October 2021, available at <https://blog.hootsuite.com/how-often-to-post-on-social-media/>.

Plattner, H. 2010, ‘An Introduction to Design Thinking – Process Guide’, Stanford University, accessed 27 October 2021, available at <https://web.stanford.edu/~mshanks/MichaelShanks/files/509554.pdf>.

Rosman, M. 2021, ‘Fail Fast, Fail Often: What It Really Means’, RevelX, accessed 27 October 2021, available at <https://www.revelx.co/blog/fail-fast-fail-often/>.

Sandikar, A. 2021, ‘Why are reels and Tik Toks so addictive?’, The Bridge Chronicle, accessed 30 October 2021, available at <https://www.thebridgechronicle.com/tech/apps/why-are-reels-and-tik-toks-so-addictive>.

Ward, D. 2010, ‘The FIST Manifesto’, Defense AT&L, accessed 30 October 2021, available at <https://www.acqnotes.com/Attachments/The%20FIST%20Manifesto.pdf>.

Ward, D. 2005, ‘The Simplicity Cycle’, Defence AT&L, accessed 30 October 2021, available at <https://www.dau.edu/library/defense-atl/DATLFiles/2005_11_12/war_nd05.pdf>.

Wyzowl 2020, ‘Report: State of Video Marketing 2020, Wyzowl, accessed 30 October, available at <https://www.wyzowl.com/state-of-video-marketing-2020-report/>.

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Peer Review 2

MUGG SPORT

James’ digital artefact Mugg Sport consists of interviewing and writing features on Australian athletes across a range of sports including rugby league, football and cricket. In his last year of university, Mugg Sport has allowed James to build a strong journalistic portfolio and develop his writing and design skills.

Originally, James repurposed content from previous semesters and wrote articles on well-known athletes and teams like basketball player Patty Mills and NRL team Melbourne Storm. On his Instagram, he would post an episode of his podcast ‘Tackling Mental Health At Its Roots’ then a preview to the upcoming article of the week followed by the article itself. Showcasing his design skills, the Mugg Sport Instagram and Wix website follow a white format that allows each interviewee’s team colours to direct the aesthetic. While other projects restrict themselves to a particular aesthetic that can lack appeal or draw attention away from the content itself, James has successfully found the middle ground and crafted a cohesive and visually engaging digital artefact.

For the last 3 articles, James adjusted his Instagram layout to a hint of who he’ll be interviewing, the announcement of the article and then the feature image of the article. James was able to make multiple posts despite it being based around one particular piece of content. In order to maintain and enhance the user experience of his audience, James outlined in his beta that he will start using more video content. This was one of my main suggestions along with posting excerpts from the interview to encourage his audience to visit his website and read the full article.

I’ve followed James project closely throughout the semester and was able to help connect him with his latest interviewee, Luke Bain. Based on his analytics, the rugby league related articles garnered the most interactions and while I could suggest to focus on this and hone in on a particular audience, the primary goal of his digital artefact is to build and broaden his journalistic portfolio. By prototyping a range of different sport athletes, James has been able to improve his overall writing skills and sport knowledge as well as creating a feedback loop to specifically determine his audiences interests.

With lockdown restrictions beginning to ease, James is looking to start posting podcasts and potentially video interviews which will add a valuable multimedia aspect to his digital artefact and strengthen his video editing and live production skills. As James is utilising his digital artefact as a portfolio of his work, I can understand why he chose Instagram as his main platform other than the website. However, in the next couple of articles I’d love to see him prototype different hashtags to increase his reach and gain a better understanding of his target audience. Mugg Sport has exceeded its semester goals already so in the final weeks of BCM302 and for the rest of 2021, I encourage James to put his portfolio to practice and begin freelancing his work to various sport publications.

SOUL SOCIALS

Laura’s digital artefact was originally Sainted Souls, an embroidery business targeting the market of sentimental and personalised gift-giving. After realising her initial project didn’t meet the FIST principles, she changed her digital artefact to a social media management business, Soul Socials.

Soul Socials exists on her Instagram where she’s made 5 posts and her Wix website where you can find her resume/CV. In her beta, Laura shared that the website was time consuming in its prototyping stage which hindered her activity on the Instagram account. Laura’s website is a clear example of her talent in marketing and design with the resume/CV being the primary focus. While I’m not sure how many clients Laura has had so far, it could be a useful addition to the website as a portfolio of some of your latest and best work.

With the website finished for now, the biggest challenge for Laura is now increasing engagement, activity and feedback loops on her Instagram. Currently, she’s made 5 posts with content ranging from quotes, mood boards and marketing/branding tips. Although she has a following of almost 300 people, each post averages one like and no comments. The iterations that Laura has made to her project included the use of ‘call to actions’ and posting unique stories that are important in catching the attention of her audience and encouraging engagement.

In my opinion, her best piece of content has been her ‘How To Choose The Right Colours For Your Brand‘ post that utilised Instagram’s carousel tool to share her three key tips. While content variety is valuable for any digital artefact, I think Laura should continue exploring these tips and tricks type of posts as it aligns with audience’s needs and her project’s sense of community building. Furthermore, she could even develop this into video content for Reels and TikTok which may give her the opportunity to better become the face of her digital artefact and personal brand.

Heading into the final weeks of BCM302, I’d love to see Laura dedicate some time to scheduling her content like she did earlier in the semester. This is something I’m also looking to do as it creates a larger and regular online presence for the digital artefact that inevitably updates basic feedback loops like what content her audience values more, when the recommend posting times are and how her following has grown. Despite the setbacks from changing project direction to time-consuming website designing, Laura has created a professional and appealing resume and is now turning her attention to expanding her following and content on Instagram.

Good luck to James, Laura and the rest of the BCM302 cohort as we complete the final weeks of the semester. Almost there, phew.

Frank Tremain.

Peer Review 1

This semester I’ll be actively engaging with a lot of the digital artefacts this semester, but these two in particular I have chosen for my peer reviews.

MUGG SPORTS

CONCEPT: The concept of Mugg Sports is to write feel-good articles about sports players and their contributions both on and off the field. While James is using Instagram as his primary platform, I suggest utilising Twitter as well, as its a better platform for marketing off-app links and there is a large audience of journalists for you to network your portfolio with. The project’s concept is not restricted by any particular sport of media form which I think is a great choice, as it allows him to prototype a range of different content and find what works best for him and his audience.

METHODOLOGY: James intends to post an article and 1-3 IG posts a week which I think is an achievable place to start but he didn’t outline too many content ideas that he had for the future. The best thing about making podcasts and longer form articles is that you’re able to take highlights from them and upload it to Instagram Reels as repurposed content. He has also emphasised that he’ll be paying close attention to his feedback loops and will continue to evolve his content accordingly. I found in past semesters that posting stories asking for direct feedback through polls was an easy way to gain engagement and get a better understanding of your audiences interests, habits etc. It’s the perfect opportunity to include more of the FIST elements and create feedback loops for yourself!

UTILITY: James has a range of inspirations for his project and if I could suggest one more, I think a page like Complex Sports is a great example of an aesthetically pleasing and informative account. James’ project is definitely relevant to his own personal utility but also to a targeted audience of sports fan interested in player’s life both in and out of sports.

PITCH: The pitch for Mugg Sports shows James’ early ideation and prototyping stages with promising signs of feedback loops and a clear outline of the DA’s concept, methodology and utility. Similar to my own, I think this pitch could have included more reference to the subject learnings but overall, it’s a great start to a digital artefact and I’m looking forward to following it throughout the semester.

SAINTED SOULS

CONCEPT: Lara’s project is a customised embroidery business targeting the market of sentimental and anniversary related gifts. Like Lara, my primary digital artefact is the website and selling products, however, I would suggest prototyping other content that can help grow the audience and market the business. Lara mentioned Tik Tok as one of the platforms she’ll use which I think will be a great place for her to share inspiration photos of potential embroidery ideas and BTS content of making the product. This will also help with the FIST element inclusion as it’s allowing her to make easy content off the back of other content! Another platform I’ve started using is Pinterest, as I’ve found it super helpful in creating my brand aesthetic and getting ideas for designs.

METHODOLOGY: Lara has a clear idea of her targeted audience and while I do believe she’ll see a lot of success from this niche, I would be interested to see if this changes over time. One of her main examples showing the production process was from a movie, and I think that is another market that she could tap into – not only people’s own personal photos but their favourite movie, tv show, book etc. With this in mind, I’m not sure of the copyright limitations here so it might be a bit tricky!

UTILITY: Lara’s project has a strong public utility, the biggest problem I think Lara will have is learning to stand out in the crowd of her competitors. She has done her thorough research into her inspirations and the field which will help her ideate what makes her business unique. I think if she capitalises on her feedback loops by paying close attention to them and reacting accordingly, her unique utility will begin to emerge more clearly.

PITCH: Lara’s pitch demonstrates a comprehensive guide to her digital artefact’s concept, methodology and utility, as well as the production process. Similar to my own, I also think this pitch could have included more reference to the subject learnings but again, I’m looking forward to following it throughout the semester.

Frank Tremain.

Moriboys (Digital Artefact Pitch)

For my digital artefact (DA) this semester, I decided to focus on my Hip-hop focused streetwear clothing brand, Moriboys. The long-term goal of my DA is to be able to create alternative income streams for artists and service audiences with high-quality merchandise.

Content is the trigger of customer interaction (Rahal, 2021). This is why my project will consist of posting frequent content across Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and Spotify. The type of content I will produce will include BTS of a clothing brand, prototyping designs, photoshoots, relevant starter pack targeted content and Spotify playlist updates (primarily of local acts to promote Australia’s Hip-hop scene). This is subject to change depending on the feedback loops and my further research into what content is suited to what platform and what content is worth repurposing. FEFO will come into play a lot here, as well as the prototyping and testing of designs and materials. There are also FIST elements in my DA but I’m hoping to increase its presence throughout the semester.

The target audience of my project includes fans of streetwear culture and Australian hip-hop, typically aged between 18-24. While it’s mainly male dominated (70%), I do consider my products unisex so I hope to see this gender disparity level out throughout the semester.

As I have little experience in graphic design, I am working with a Brisbane-based designer as well as my local manufacturer to create the logo and product designs. This is something I’m hoping to have less dependency on later on in the semester to give myself more creative control and be more independent as a brand. From working in the Australian music industry, I have a well-versed understanding of my primary audience and what gaps are needed to be filled by a clothing brand. However, over the next couple of weeks, I will be focusing my research on marketing as a fashion brand and graphic design.

Moriboys was created before this semester, and I plan to continue it afterwards, so this will be a great opportunity to begin laying the foundation of content and building my audience.


If you’d like to support my Digital Artefact, you can follow Moriboys on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and Spotify.

Frank Tremain.