MAY GENII IN THE MAIL A WEEK AGO!

Discuss general aspects of Genii.

Postby Richard Kaufman » 04/19/04 08:14 AM

The May issue of Genii, featuring our Memorial to Derek Dingle, the second installment of Max Maven's Inquisition, and lots of other fun things, should start to reach people shortly.
Would like to hear from as many of you as possible regarding its arrival date, as well as what you think of our new design and layout.
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Postby Chris Aguilar » 04/19/04 09:04 AM

Richard,

As a recent subscriber, I love what I've been seeing, but (with all due respect to Max Maven) I do not see the appeal of the "Inquisition". It takes up a whole page (not to mention another quarter of a page instructing one how to cut out a piece of paper to hide the answers) and frankly, it doesn't need to. I'd be happier to see it take up a half (or even a quarter) of a page and see the remainder of the space devoted to something else.

Instead of "Here, cut out a piece of paper to cover the answers", why not simply place the answers on different pages and reference them from the "Inquisition" page? It seems a time honored way of handling such things.

Once again, no disrespect to Max Maven is intended. Perhaps some out there love "The Inquisition" and I am just not "getting it". Different strokes I suppose...

That being said, I'm very happy with my subscription and feel Genii a great value overall. I've been making a strong effort to pick up Kaufman edited back issues and have yet to be disappointed by the quality or content. I eagerly await the Dingle memorial issue.


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Postby Alain Roy » 04/22/04 06:58 AM

My copy of the May Genii arrived yesterday, April 21st, in Sun Prairie, WI. (That's near Madison.)

I haven't read the entire issue yet, but so far I like the new layout. There was one spot where an article was completely in a sans serif font, and I found it a bit harder to read. But that's really a very small complaint. Overall, it looks very nice, and I congratulate you. Thanks for your hard work on it!

I've only just begun to read the issue, but I'm enjoying the content, particularly the articles about Derek Dingle. I never knew him, and it's nice to get a little bit of insight into him and his magic.

Max Maven's Inquisition made me chuckle, so I guess I disagree with the person who recently posted that he didn't like it so much. In my ever-hopeful dreams, I wish that there was an extra page to it, on the flip side of the current page. This page would go into some detail on each question, so I would not only know, for example, that Persi Diaconis created the Himber ring, but there would be a short paragraph story about it to fill in my understanding. Of course, that would be a lot of work, but I can always dream. It could change the Inquisition from a fun bit into something very educational.

Overall, I continue to be very happy with my subscription to Genii!

-alain
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Postby Ian Kendall » 04/22/04 07:05 AM

I never did understand why people cannot read sans serif fonts easily; after all, this forum is in Sans Serif and noone has complained so far.

I think someone said, long ago, that this was the case and people have picked up on it (naked Emperor style).

Never mind,

Take care, Ian

P.S. It was Jamy Swiss...
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Postby James » 04/22/04 07:42 AM

San Serif is a very difficult font style to read on a written page. There have actually been tests done on this and seriff fonts ALWAYS prove easier to read.

I'm a direct response copywriter (I write junk mail for a living) and I only get paid if people read and then buy what I'm selling - and when money's on the line and your livlihood depends on what you've written getting read - it's always a serif font because serif is easier to read.

Oddly enough, though, a non serif font does work well on a ocmputer monitor.

Just my two cents,

James
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Postby Ian Kendall » 04/22/04 08:10 AM

I'll bow to your experience, which is obviously greater than mine.

However, I printed your post off in the SS font the forum uses, and also in Times New Roman. I had no trouble at all in reading both fonts.

It is as known that we read by recognising the _shape_ of the word, that is to say the relative positions of upstrokes and downstrokes. This is why THINGS WRITTEN IN CAPITALS ARE HARDER TO READ, we do not have those visual clues. Also, I'll be noone had trouble reading the typo ocmputer either.

I'm unclear on how a font is easier to read on a monitor, but not on paper. However, I think we've gone off topic for too long now so perhaps we should return to normal reporting of magazine arrival dates.

Take care, Ian
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Postby Guest » 04/22/04 08:19 AM

If I started my subscription at the end of March, will I be getting this latest issue?
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Postby Bill Wheeler » 04/22/04 01:31 PM

I received mine in Naperville, IL today. An outstanding issue and a nice tribute to Derek Dingle. I like the summary on the front of the magazine....it'll help when I'm digging around for references in the future.
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Postby Guest » 04/22/04 02:32 PM

Most people read using "Whole Language" rather than reading phonetically. That is wy fonetik speling is hard to reed. We see the whole word--the shape of the word. Serifs help hold the word together. They lead the eye from letter to letter and help give the word its shape. That's why sans-serif is harder to read.

Ed

PS I have not received my May issue in St. Louis, MO
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Postby CHRIS » 04/22/04 03:04 PM

Originally posted by James Demas:
Oddly enough, though, a non serif font does work well on a ocmputer monitor.
The reason why sans serif is preferred for computer monitors and PDAs has to do with the screen resolution. The resolution is not fine enough to do a good job on the serifs on small fonts. Here sans serif displays and thus reads better.

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Postby Guest » 04/22/04 07:56 PM

Not yet in Evanston and I await it eagerly.

:cool:
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Postby Guest » 04/22/04 07:57 PM

Not yet in Evanston, and I await it eagerly.

:cool:
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Postby Pepka » 04/23/04 05:00 AM

Arrived in Harrisburg, PA on 22nd. To be honest, not too crazy about the layout, but it will probably grow on me after a few months. I LOVE the inquisition. A friend and I would often play "magic jeopardy" who invented what move and so on, so we hope it keeps going.
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Postby Terry » 04/23/04 05:20 AM

Arrived in Frankfort yesterday the 22nd.

New layout is interesting, agree that it will take time to get used to.

I have the issue of 'Houdini's Magic Magazine' with Derek's interview.

Actually collected the 5 or 6 issues that were published. Interesting little magazine.
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Postby Guest » 04/23/04 08:17 AM

Received in San Jose, CA on April 22nd. I love the new layout sans serif or not. Something about the front is still sorta retro, which I like. It's a great issue honoring a great man...
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Postby Steve Hook » 04/23/04 12:52 PM

Good issue, RK, but I vote (not that you asked):

NO to the sans serif font in the magazine.

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Postby Pete McCabe » 04/23/04 01:57 PM

Received in Woodland Hills, CA (i.e. the west valley) today, 4/23.

The redesign looks very nice overall. However I second Steve Hook's vote against the use of the sans serif font, which is in the "Columns" and "Light from the lamp" sections only. It does look weird to see the font change from sans serif in "Genii Speaks" on page 27, to serif in the feature "The Heart and Soul of Magic" on page 28, with no other graphic design elements to indicate that we have now entered the "Features" section.

I think that if there were some other design element to indicate this change, the use of different fonts would not be required.

However, this is a pretty small point. Overall the new design looks very nice.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 04/23/04 05:01 PM

I have published and sold tens of thousands of books over the last 25 years with the text in sans serif fonts, and not once--not a SINGLE time--has anyone ever complained that the text was difficult to read.
Not one peep.
Ever.
I have never bought the line that san serif body type is any more difficult to read than serif type.
There are SO many other things that can make type tough to read, like the kerning, and the leading, and on and on.
If you go to a store like Borders or Barnes & Noble and look through 100 magazines, like we did, you'll see that the use of san serif body type is very common, and the mixing of serif and san serif body type within an issue is very common. So, we aren't doing anything outrageous, or different than many of the magazines you find on the newstand in the "real" world.
It's just not something you see in the rest of the "magic" world.
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Postby David Nethery » 04/23/04 07:22 PM

Received in Orlando , FL on April 22, 2004 .

The re-design is fine . I thought the old one looked great , too.

Steinmeyer's point is well-taken , but I happen to love anything that looks like it is from the 30's or 40's so retro to that era is fine with me . (hey, I love black & white movies , too, and all that sort of thing .......... just an old moldy fig ,
that's me . )

And J.S. should talk ! I saw his Stickley-era Arts & Crafts furniture in the photos from the Nov. 2003 issue. I have that same mica shade copper lamp and the desk he's sitting at in the photo on page 66. Well, I have the iMac , too , so there ya are ...........
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Postby Tabman » 04/23/04 07:26 PM

best looking genii in years. not since dante started printing in color has there been such a nice change. way to go!!! long live genii magazine and the kaufman family!!!!
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Postby Guest » 04/23/04 07:45 PM

May issue arrived here in Brooklyn April 22. Great issue, especially the Heart and Soul of Magic. Have to say, though, I find the sans serif annoying to read--and I don't understand the motivation behind the mix of typefaces. It comes off the page as a little amateurish to me, but maybe that's just my taste. Anyway, it's a minor point, and I always enjoy the great work that Mr. Kaufman does.

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Postby Bill Mullins » 04/23/04 10:09 PM

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
I have published and sold tens of thousands of books over the last 25 years with the text in sans serif fonts, and not once--not a SINGLE time--has anyone ever complained that the text was difficult to read.
Not one peep.
Ever.
Did you ever ask what people thought before???

I haven't gotten mine yet (Huntsville, AL), so can't say beyond what is on the home page. The cover and TOC look okay. But for a big block of text, like the articles, my preference is serif. The Romans got that one right.
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Postby Curtis Kam » 04/23/04 11:11 PM

Derek Dingle has arrived, or a fiting tribute to his memory, at least, in Honolulu Hawaii. The new layout is refreshing, and very attractive.

I had no problem reading the type, serif or no.

The photography is amazing! Would that my own hands were so clean, ditto my cards, or even my surroundings. Was this something special for the Derek Dingle issue, or dare we expect this sort of thing every time?

And pardon me for asking if it's a stupid question... whose hands are those in the photos? And although the Ace of Spades in the "Quick D-Way" photos says "Bicycle", the backs sure don't look like any Bikes that have managed to show up at Costco...what gives?
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Postby Jerry Harrell » 04/24/04 04:28 AM

Norfolk Virginia April 23rd.
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Postby Alain Roy » 04/24/04 06:28 AM

My first reaction when I noticed that Jamy Ian Swiss only wrote one book review was sadness. I enjoy his book reviews.

Then I noticed that he wrote one of the Derek Dingle memorial (it was most excellent) and I thoroughly enjoyed the one book review he did. All sadness left me.

I find his reviews to be consistently useful, insightful and enjoyable to read. I hope he keeps on writing them.

There is some missing text in the Dingle interview by Gene Wright. The bottom of page 49 says:

And I used to be sitting in zee toilet wiz a

And the top of page 49 says:

Question: Was it frustrating to practice that much?

I'm not upset that there is missing text. Mistakes happen. But I'm very curious about what is missing. Can you fill it in for us?

Thanks,
-alain
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Postby Bill Wheeler » 04/24/04 10:00 AM

Originally posted by Curtis Kam:
And although the Ace of Spades in the "Quick D-Way" photos says "Bicycle", the backs sure don't look like any Bikes that have managed to show up at Costco...what gives?
I noticed the same thing...If you look on picture 17 of the instructions, you can make out the name "Toshiro Yamauchi" on the side. Maybe its a customized playing card for him. The top and bottom of the cards have what look like hiragana/katagana (Its been a while since I took Japanese). Interestingly, the Ace of Spades also says they were made in Ontario, Canada.

Not the whole answer, but I hope this helps.

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Postby Dave Shepherd » 04/24/04 09:29 PM

Vienna, Virginia (2 miles outside the Beltway), 4/24/04.

I like the bold new cover. Still undecided about the sans-serif in text, but I really like it in the cover title.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 04/25/04 12:45 PM

The end of the line missing in the interview is "deck of cart." It shows up in our Quark document, so we really don't know why it didn't print.

I generally prefer to use Earle Oakes' line drawings, however when there are more illustrations required than it is possible for Earle to draw (or when the number of illustrations required would bust our budget), I go with photographs if Fredde Lieberman or Pete Biro are available. We have used both photos and line drawings depending upon the issue in the past and will continue to do so.
All the hands in the Dingle photographs are mine.

The deck of cards I'm shown using was manufactured in 1988 by the US Playing Card Co. in Windsor, Ontario. This was a custom job for Toshio Yamauchi, who owns a magic bar called "The Elm" in the city of Nagoya, Japan. He produced the cards solely for his own use and does not sell them. Ton Onosaka designed the backs.
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Postby Guest » 04/25/04 12:51 PM

My impression is that the design of the magazine has changed from vaguely theatrical to definitely corporate. I don't like it as well, but maybe that's just because I'm one of the old guys. Anyway, I'd keep reading it even if it were mimeographed. I have no problem with any of the type styles.
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Postby Joe M. Turner » 04/26/04 11:28 AM

Just got mine today in Atlanta.

I like the content preview on the front cover, but I don't care for the new title font -- a little too wide and bubbly for my taste.

Don't have any real problem with a sans-serif font used sparingly, but to my mind the feel is a bit superficial. I somehow have greater respect for the text in the serifed font. It seems more dignified. I think there is room for both in the magazine. I like the sans-serif for sidebars or short passages.

The new layout seems promising and I look forward to seeing these design ideas explored in the coming issues.
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Postby Jon Racherbaumer » 04/26/04 12:25 PM

Choosing font styles and layout are not my strongest suit and I rarely offer any feedback to RK in this regard. I suspect that readers will be evenly divided regarding this topic. There is always room for experimentation; however, if a certain "look" has been firmly established, subsequent tampering can be problematical.

I happen to prefer the old, but newly established look.

The NEW YORKER, for example, has not significantly changed its look since its inception.

GENII of course has undergone many changes and looks. So has MAGIC magazine. So did the NEW TOPS.

In the last analysis, I think that readers will be tolerant of any kind of typographical or graphic experimentation as long as the magazine's CONTENT is satisfactory. I do, however, recoil from any kind of dumbing-down...

Keep voicing your opinions. They are always noted and appreciated.

Onward...
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Postby Bill Mullins » 04/26/04 01:32 PM

Received in Huntsville today.

As I flipped through it, it struck me that four of the strongest issues since RK took over are memorial issues -- Ross Bertram, Derek Dingle, Bro. John Hamman, and Michael Skinner.
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Postby Adrian Kuiper » 04/26/04 04:05 PM

Received the new issue in Port Richey Florida today. Glanced through it and while I'm not thrilled with sans serif fonts, I'm sure that if the magazine keeps the quality of content I would read it if it were written with crayon.

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Postby Guest » 04/26/04 05:58 PM

May Genii arrived in Ridgewood, NJ today. Agree with Adrian and others, it's the content that counts. I think what ever style Genii settles on should reflect the vision of the Editor.
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Postby Steve Hook » 04/26/04 06:06 PM

wcb:

I also agree with Adrian about the content being very good. But I disagree slightly with you in that it's still the readers' right to comment on whether the font is easier / easy to read or not.

I'm not going to cancel my subscription over the font but I believe all those who have expressed a hope for a serif font have the right to do so, that it has less to do with the issue of the publisher's "vision" than you suggest.

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Postby Guest » 04/26/04 07:35 PM

I finally received the new Genii in St. Louis, Mo today. I do not generally like san-serif type and I do not think that the cover is as attractive as others this year. It's not like I'm going to cancel my subscription over the redesign, but it probably should be re-redesigned.

Have fun with it!

Ed
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Postby Greg Bornstein » 04/26/04 07:36 PM

In my opinion, I like the old way better. It just had a certain feel that really appealed to me......
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Postby Tommy Brown » 04/27/04 07:28 AM

The May issue arrived April 26. It is outstanding, and I do like the new layout. Keep up the excellent work. :)
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Postby Guest » 04/28/04 05:18 PM

Just received the May Genii here in Winnipeg today and I think the new font is much easier to read than the old font. Genii just keeps getting better. Thank you.
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Postby Jeff Eline » 04/28/04 06:14 PM

Got it in Baltimore. Although Richard is probably tired of reading opinions from the unwashed masses, I'll toss mine in.

I like the new format. Cover looks good. Has a retro feel to me with the white behind the title. And the typeface on the inside doesn't seem to be a problem to read - at least not for me. I like it.

The writing on Mr. Dingle is excellent. I never met him but after reading the stories about him, I sure wish I had.
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