Catalogue, mail order for 'Deus ex Machina' t-shirts, (2 of 2), Epsom inkjet prints on photopaper, designed by Carby Tuckwell for Deus ex Machina, Sydney, 2006
' It's a new kind of space to hang out in - part gallery, part retail, part cafe, a post-modern kind of Bloke's club that celebrates the god in the machine with just a nod to jap-lish.' (1)
Deus ex Machina is a flagship Japanese-inspired customised motorcycle outlet and retail emporium in Sydney's inner west established in 2005 (opened doors November 2005) by a small group of individuals including racer Nigel Begg, motorcycle enthusiast and mechanic Ron Hunwick, creative director and graphic designer Carby Tuckwell, and Dare Jennings, the former founder of the Mambo surf and leisure wear company.
Mambo enjoyed enviable success during the 1980s and 1990s with its irreverent humour and artist designed graphics, culminating in a major commission for the Sydney 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Shortly after the Games, Dare Jennings sold Mambo and moved to an early retirement but soon his artistic vision led to a new project - Deus ex Machina - which has grown its niche market and client base steadily since its inception in late 2005. Where Mambo promoted its product through Surf Showdowns and music events, Deus ex Machina has recently chosen to promote its product by setting a World Record on a Deus Yamaha 77 motorbike at the Dry Lakes Races, Australia.
'The phrase Deus ex Machina may be Latin for "God is from the machine" but the Deus Japlish signature line captures it even better: "The Maniac with Riding Taste just of Early Type". It's something even the coolest kid would be proud to wear on a limited edition t-shirt in Harajuku on a Sunday afternoon ... ' (2)
Carby Tuckwell is the Deus ex Machina brand identity designer. He has created the logo, hand written fonts, store super graphics, poster and t-shirt designs as well as the mail order catalogues which draw inspiration from the simple beauty of the motorcycle and the ultimate fusion of form and function. His inspiration also comes from British industrial designer Colin Chapman's philosophy that 'more power makes you quicker in a straight line, less weight makes you quicker everywhere'. (3) Tuckwell feels that this philosophy has as much relevance to the world of Visual Communication as it has to Formula One racing where Chapman's renowned Lotus has repeatedly won World Championships.
Tuckwell's designs for Deus ex Machina are a combination of hand drawing, photography and computer-aided design, including Photoshop and Illustrator programs. However his Deus super-sized wall graphics have been hand painted by sign writer Steve Smith giving them a raw and distinctive 'hand-crafted' edge, like that found on the Deus ex Machina customized motorcycles.
Tuckwell and his Deus ex Machina graphics featured as one of 16 case studies in the Powerhouse Museum's Sydney Design 06 exhibition titled 'In your face: contemporary graphic design' . The 'Beautiful Lake Gairdner' poster, 'Deus' graphic and 'Deus ex Machina' mail order catalogue were printed specifically for that exhibition.
Tuckwell's Deus ex Machina signage and graphics won several awards in the 8th AGDA (Australian Graphic Design Association) Biennial Awards 2006, including Finalist in the 'Signage' category and Distinctions within the 'Logotype', 'Illustration' and 'Brand Identity' categories.
Anne-Marie Van de Ven, Curator, February 2007
1 & 3. Andrew Cornell, 'Boy's own barn', Australian Financial Review Magazine, 28 October 2005 (as cited at http://www.twowheels.com.au on 8 March 2008)
2. Email correspondence, Carby Tuckwell to Anne-Marie Van de Ven, 16 March 2006
www.dlra.org.au (Dry Lake Races, Australia website)
www.deus.com.au (Deus ex Machina website)
www.agda.com.au (Australian Graphic Designers Association website)
Carby Tuckwell's Deus ex Machina graphics are produced using a combination of hand drawn illustrations, photography and computer-aided design (Photoshop and Illustrator), graphics printed on photopaper on Epson inkjet printer at the Moon Design, Surry Hills, Sydney.
This mail order catalogue was originally designed to be viewed online via the Deus ex Machina website.
Carby Tuckwell (b. 9 March 1972) grew up on an avocado farm in the hills behind Lennox Heads on the north coast of New South Wales, Australia. After declining an offer to study Visual Communication at UTS (University of Technology, Sydney), Carby Tuckwell left Australia for London and then Zurich, Switzerland where he worked and studied for five years.
After returning to Australia, Carby Tuckwell became Creative Director and partner of Moon Design (1998-early 2008). There he played a foundation role in establishing Moon as a leading Australian visual communication agency, creating identity projects for a broad spectrum of clients ranging from airlines to restaurants and consequently, his design work ranges from aircraft liveries to menus.
In 2005, Carby partnered with the founder of Mambo, Dare Jennings, to create Deus Ex Machina, a Japanese-inspired customised motorcycle outlet and retail emporium in Sydney's inner west. His illustrations and designs for the Deus brand identity draws inspiration from the simple beauty of the motorcycle as the ultimate fusion of form and function.
Email correspondence, Carby Tuckwell to Powerhouse Museum curator, Anne-Marie Van de Ven, 16 March 2006