Eleusis Marked Deck by Fraser Parker
Eleusis Marked Deck by Fraser Parker
As featured on Kickstarter - Click here to view the Kickstarter for the Eleusis Marked Deck.
Where did this project come from?
The reason for kickstarting this project is to fulfil a dream of mine that is over eight years in the making, to create the ultimate marked deck that can be read just as easily at a distance as it can close up.
It all started with a simple idea. I wondered if it was possible to create a marked deck of cards that would be easy to read from a distance. The cards would need to look regular in terms of their back design, yet would be effortless to read both close up and far away. In fact, they would be just as easy to read from across the room up to over twenty feet away, as they would be to read up close, in a normal performing environment.
I tried many different approaches and iterations on the basic concept over the years, each time solving different problems that arose along the way, refining and developing the idea, until I finally hit on the ultimate solution.
This is what I am now offering to you.
The Eleusis Deck is the ultimate marked deck that can be read just as effortlessly from a distance, as it can up close.
These cards are printed on the finest card stock utilising Cartamundi’s ‘True Linen B9 finish’.
They are a Poker Size deck with a beautiful back design that appears completely normal to the uninitiated, yet hidden in plain sight is a simple to learn marking system that will allow you to create miracles.
Thanks to the intuitive way of coding numbers built into the symmetrical marking system, each card becomes effortless to read after a little practice. You will be able to glance at the back of a card for a second and instantly know its identity, even if the back of the card is partially obscured from view by your spectator and even if the card is viewed from across a room.
It will become second nature for you to read the cards, once you have spent only a small amount of time learning to recognise the various patterns that are inherent in the marking system. There is no real mental effort on your part in performance but if necessary, you will still be able to mentally construct the identity of each of the cards by following the simple rules of the marking system. As soon as you have become familiar with the deck, you will be able to get a full read of each card in less than a second.
The marking system utilises the negative white space inherent in the back design to create each of the markings, which means they will stay completely hidden from view from those who you perform for, via perception.
The deck will come with a full fifty two cards plus two bespoke matching Jokers and two additional gimmicked cards (for specific effects taught in the 'add on' video download). Each of the cards will also be subtly marked 'one way' on their faces with one of the corner values being made slightly bolder than the other, which will allow you to perform various effects effortlessly.
The first design I created was bought by Murphy’s Magic Supplies Inc.
My solution utilised a “zig zag” back design pattern that appeared random and was different on each card. This created an optical illusion which would create shading via perception when viewed at a distance which would in turn, make up a distinct number and letter combination. It meant that the the cards could be read as effortlessly as if their identities were written in giant letters, across the back of the card.
The problem with this design was that the back design didn’t appear standard and would appear to change throughout each card of the deck. I used this deck in performances of Mentalism without any problem but continued to search for a better solution.
This lead to a change of design where a more standard pattern was used which would appear to stay uniform throughout the entire deck. I utilised line weight to create the same shading effect which would cause large numbers and letters to become visible at a distance. One of the problems I found with this solution was that the secret markings would sometimes become obvious to onlookers, especially if they needed corrective spectacles but happened to not be wearing them.
I decided to use a code instead of the more literal number and letters ‘speed reader’ markings. This combined with an idea from one of my friends offered the perfect synthesis between all of the different approaches and The Eleusis Marked Deck was born.
I have dreamt for so long of one day having my own signature deck that unlocks the functionality I have already discussed and am pleased to say that this is now a possibility.
I’ve worked meticulously on the design ensuring that not only is it a practical solution for what I want to achieve from a methodological point of view but that it is also something aesthetically pleasing in its own right.
My passion for this project is born out of my desire to create the ultimate tool for marked deck work which opens up other possibilities and expands on what was previously possible within performances of Mentalism and Magic. Namely, the ability to get a read effortlessly from up close as well as from a distance and even from across the room.
I’m pleased to be able to finally share this with the community and get this out of the prototype stage. In short, this is the deck I have wanted to own myself for many years and after playing with the prototype I am excited to finally be able to make this a reality for everyone else by sharing this with the larger magic community.
These decks are intended for entertainment purposes only.
Easy to read up close and at a distance.