The Passion Project: APLUS

Life usually hits you at the most unexpected of times, well ours happened right after we came back to the Philippines from a trip to Cambodia and Vietnam - Great Countries with, Beautiful People (the usual). But just after a few months of settling. We had received some unsettling news. A buddy of mine who was on the trip with us, suddenly came down with something. Then after a few weeks, we're given the news that he was diagnosed with AML (Acute Myeloid Leukemia). That's when shit hit the fan.

My friends rounded up as much man-power we could possibly get in a 12 meter radius from friends, family, workmates, old football team mates , previous employer and coaches. They did the work and their best to get a group a core, to spread the message and provide the concern we needed from people.

At this point, our group needed a face that could shake people's hand and thank them. A face that they could see my friend Pao's face in. Something that could represent him. They needed a brand. 

That's where I came in guns blazing (way too much) and took the assignment. Then that's when I started my first passion project.

The pressure was insanely huge, plus him being my friend, I knew what brands he liked and what he wanted but how to project that was the problem. Given that we also had a very unique timeline as well: The Earlier The Better

Like learning to walk, talk and breathe - you just have to do it. There is now proverbial book or tome that moses hands down to you from a mountain after inhaling fumes from a burning "bush". You just have to and that I did. I went with what me and Pao were really into at the time. Also, a brand that was never marketed here in the Philippines. That's when I thought that if we can't bring him to the brand, let's bring the brand to him. That was my ethos going into this, that was our mantra. So I used that as a main basis for the brand and just enveloped all of our other interests as details, as flaws the to make the it unique.

So let's get right into it, so the first thing you'd see as the main focal point of the brand would be the Shakka hand gesture. That symbol was really popular back in our home town to the days where you'd wear Quicksilver boardshorts and havianas slippers while going to a mall or even a night out. The shakka was like the gang symbol of Bacolod my home town. You'd see it in group pictures and family pictures. There's always be that one dude who'd naturally just whip that out. It eventually caught on and never disappeared up to this day. It meant well and was a very positive gesture and so we chose to use it a main image for the brand. 

Now our main logo was referenced from DEUS EX MACHINA ( check them out here ). I thought of doing variations without straying from the original concept we had for this mofo brand and then have Pao pick the logo that he digs the most from his said choices.

After that we went straight on to applications looking at the brand on different purposes and perspectives. Looking at the balance of the whole concept. Making sure it was very in line and proportion to what a surfer, traveller, skater and betting agent would actually want. Bingo! Then did a bunch of mocks where we changed the colours and planned the possible second season and it's performance out there in the world. Maybe just maybe.

After all the pre-production approval and also landing the main supplier, we proceeded with designs for the first shirt including the first collaborative we did with HIGHYIST.

The next step was actually the hardest part of the whole process. So making the website. Our main purpose was to be able to refer people inquiring on how to help or donate and asking about the details of Pao's condition. We had to get this right and every detail was important. First thing was to create a workflow process for the whole site and from scratch make a system that was possible for people to donate locally and internationally. At the same time was be able to disseminate the correct instructions on how to let people donate blood under Pao's name.

So in reality we we're trying to rein-act the invention apple, nothing like a bunch of guys with a computer in a small room. Not the perfect picture right? But all that mattered was we had a goal and purpose. So  - starting a system, making the website and doing all the coding involved. Well the truth is it took us about half a month to plan out and get right. And we used one macbook as our coding monster and an iMac for graphic editing. Most of the important parts of the website was done with good old fashion pen and paper. Also with help from talented writers such as my girlfriend and her sister.

Now that the main platform and social media accounts have been set-up. All that's left is to get the word out. So the great people at APLUS started on concepts for fund raising and events.

More or less after a few weeks we had our plan of attack all punched in and here's what the team ended up with.


And we also implemented a link for an easy call to action on our website. That could always be found at the bottom of every MONGULE page

So that about does it for Aplus I hope you guys stay tuned because we have big projects lined up this 2016. We all hope that Pao pulls through, he is already as we speak is on his road to recovery so for more updates on his condition CLICK HERE and if you're feeling the need to help a brother out CLICK HERE for donations.

Enjoy an additional video we did for APlus as a sweeter way to say end this write-up.