What does the name thirteen23 mean?
Time is scarce in the design world, so in an effort to prolong
the workday, our founders decided to create a 13-hour clock. It
looked just like a regular clock, but with a tiny 13 wedged
between the 12 and 1. After realizing that this new timescale
didn’t add an hour so much as simply eliminate the 12
o’clock hour, the founders worked themselves into a
frenzy, fearing that their eagerness to gain some time had
actually resulted in a noonless, 23-hour day. The name
thirteen23 is in reference to the fact that No, it didn’t.
thirteen23 originally began as MCCCXXIII, which combined our
respect for Irish surnames with our love of cross-country, two
specific railroad signs, and our founder’s third eye. It
wasn’t until later that anyone realized our name was also
the Roman numeral for 1323. The coincidence was too great to
ignore, so we made the unanimous decision to switch from MCCCXXIII
(Pronounced McSeeSee Cross-Cross Triple Eye) to the more
streamlined, simplified thirteen23.
Nuh uh, honey boo-boo child.
When choosing the numbers for our company, we knew we needed to look beyond obvious picks like “15” or “6". Sure, workaday numbers like that can get you by – and a lesser company might have done well to call itself fifteen6 – but we wanted something that would bridge the gap between science and art. We looked deep into 13 and saw that it was the sum of the squares of 2 and 3. And that because of this bond, the numbers 13 and 23 were not just good, not merely sufficient, but mathematically happy. And not just happy, but prime. And not just happy primes, but the smallest two happy primes to have that characteristic. And therein lies minimalism. Purity. Art.
That makes total sense. ಠ_ಠ
The test flight of the first Atlas rocket, SM-65A, launched in June of 1957 and lasted a mere 23 seconds before it was destroyed due to a fuel system malfunction. And as flight enthusiasts know, the longest recorded flight of a chicken is 13 seconds. The short flight of SM-65A gave rise to the maxim “Even the worst rocket is better than any chicken.” The name thirteen23 is a reference to this maxim.
Meh, it's complicated.
thirteen23 was the thirteenth of twenty-three names the founders came up with for their design agency. The rest were much, much worse.
People undergo some profound changes between the years of thirteen and twenty-three. In fact, this period is widely regarded as the most impactful decade of a 13 to 23-year-old’s life. It is a time of growth, experimentation, and discovery – exactly what thirteen23 strives to embody.
We may have taken innovation a step too far with the invention of our first time machine. Heated leather seats and beer on tap seemed like reasonable additions, but the onboard masseuse and bedazzled interior may have been the straw that broke our former founder’s brain and made him decide to travel to the year 1323 and stay there indefinitely (or however that saying goes). The name thirteen23 is to remind us that bedazzling is very rarely the answer. Oh, and that we miss that guy.
The name thirteen23 is a hat tip to one of the founders' great-great-grandfather, Adelbert Declercq. One unfortunate day at market, Adelbert got in a heated argument regarding a stolen mule. This argument quickly escalated into a gruesome Belgian counting duel, in which Adelbert counted harder and more quickly than his body could handle. The poor man asphyxiated, but not before setting the still-unbroken record of 1,323.