The creative studio offshoot of electronic music magazine, ticketing service and editorial platform Resident Advisor (RA), 23:59 works with brands such as Nike, Asahi, Reverb, Lacoste and WeTransfer.
It soft-launched last year with Italian fashion house Bottega Veneta as one of its founding clients. Billing itself as “an incubator for ideas, creativity and culture,” 23:59 works across creative strategy, content creation, experiential, media buying, live broadcast and more. The studio is headed up by chief creative and brand officer Kazim Rashid, a former creative director at Mixcloud and Protein.
According to HelloMe creative director Till Wiedeck, the new standalone website and visual identity for 23:59 was inspired by “the feeling of entering a crowded club environment shortly before midnight”.
He continues, “The identity intentionally breaks with traditional branding standards and instead focuses on the experimental nature of the electronic music culture and its global nightlife community.”
23:59’s branding uses a custom version of an as-yet-unreleased typeface from HelloMe’s own type foundry, which is launching in 2024. The new 23:59 logo takes the form of a motion-driven pulsating mark, which “moves fluently between crisp legibility and foggy abstraction,” says Wiedeck.
The bright, fluorescent blue colour was chosen since it “felt really reflective of those twilight hours in the night… like a colour that reflects 23:59 as a moment in the day,” says Rashid. He continues, “Plus I’m a firm believer in building brands with iconic colour palettes and owning something in that context. This blue feels very right for 23:59.”
Wiedeck adds that the blue shade also “serves as a reference to digital alarm clocks, which inspired the countdown logo mark and overall aesthetics”. This nod to clocks is shown in the top left hand corner of the site’s homepage, which displays the studio’s name with the colon detail flashing like a digital clock.
Rashid briefed HelloMe to create a digital space which deliberately doesn’t reveal too much about 23:59 and the studio’s work, instead inviting a more “direct engagement” with the site.
“I believe websites for creative studios and agencies are in a challenging place right now; do you make big, expensive content archives which show projects? How do you use a website to best affect the sales pipeline?” says Rashid. “If we gave too much away, might we miss the chance to actually connect with [current and prospective clients] properly? I wanted to tease who we are, and as quickly as possible encourage a real interaction.”
The website looks to be a dynamic platform that shows 23:59’s case studies as a “spatial content stream” with accompanying sound, he continues, “blending the digital interface with an analogue experience reminiscent of crate digging”.
The crate digging idea comes through in the way the projects are displayed: the experience of flipping through vinyl records in a box or on a shelf is mirrored in various floating windows that appear on top of one another, each showcasing a different 23:59 project.
The 23:59 identity is part of an ongoing collaboration between HelloMe and RA; with Rashid having first worked with the studio around a decade ago when he was at Warp Records. The studio previously worked with Resident Advisor on a printed book called Sacred Spaces, which compiled photographic and written ‘love letters’ to clubbing and was published to mark the platform’s 21st birthday last year.
A stalwart of the electronic music community, Resident Advisor was founded in 2001 as a digital-only electronic magazine, and went on to launch its ticketing service for clubs in 2008. In 2014 RA launched new branding created in a collaboration between the site’s founders and consultancy SOON_, which was co-founded by Fred Flade, formerly of Poke and Deepend. The logo created then is still in use today, though the site was overhauled in 2021 to improve its search functionality and optimisation for mobile browsing, and moving the platform from residentadvisor.net to ra.co.
RA now has offices in London, Berlin, New York, Manchester and Los Angeles. As of last year, it claimed to have 27 million unique users each year.