Examine the book cover to the right closely; you can click on it for a larger version. Notice the problem?
Let's start by stipulating that it was unreasonable to actually photograph a real reflection of the Presidential Seal, so the publisher was justified in photoshopping it. There are three schools of thought about the actual resulting book cover:
- Most charitable: this is all the publisher's fault. The author would have spotted this, but no one on the editorial side noticed it. If only the illustrator had read the book (or taken the course it's based on) this would never have happened.
- Less charitable: at some point, some involved in this mishap realized that the reflection should have been inverted, but it was too much trouble to fix.
- Least charitable: the publisher knew the reflection job was botched but figured that the general public was
- too stupid to notice, and/or
- too stupid to comprehend reversed letters if the cover were fixed.
I understand the rationale for the reversed lettering on the front of ambulances: you want to avoid the split-second of incomprehension when a driver sees the ambulance in the rearview mirror. But is the publishing industry really so cut-throat that the fraction of a second necessary for cognitive processing of a reversed Presidential Seal would have materially affect the sales of this book?
This one is even harder to explain.