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Hello All,

I have a November 1985 Search for Early Man edition of National Geographic magazine with a misprinted (left and right side reversed) hologram. I received it in the mail like this back in 1985 as a child and recently found it again while going though some books of mine.

I have never seen another one like this and was wondering if anyone knows how many got printed with the left and right hand sides of the hologram reversed. Please see picture provided. The magazine is in really good condition.



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Assuming that it is genuine, as far as I know, this is the first case of a major variety on a cover of the NGM!
Everything else that we discuss is only the result of different printings or reprints, and can only be very relatively rare. In printing terms, it is hard to imagine that something happens only once, and then the question is how can it happen? Does anybody know a printing expert specialising in holograms?
Hi Jean!

I can assure you it is real. I received this copy in the mail when I was 15. I have kept it relatively safe but as you can see from the scan there are a few scratches.

If you find anyone that does know more about this printing, I would be very interested in knowing more myself.

Thanks for the reply!

I stumbled upon this reply from Cathy Hunter of the NGS Archives....since she posted it on Karen Huffman's page(comments section), I was not sure if you had actually ever seen it ? !

Here it is:

At 12:44pm on July 1, 2008, Cathy Hunter said…

Hi Chris,

I checked the old project file this morning and it appears there were quite a few issues with trying to get that cover to look right. In your case, it looks like a misregister, which is where the hologram image was not positioned precisely in front of the striker plate. A decision was made to reduce the trim size in order to bring down the estimated percentage of misregisters, but it still may have been around 10%.

At 1:47pm on June 27, 2008, Cathy Hunter said…

Hi Chris,

Karen forwarded your message to me. I will take a look at our archives file and see if there is any information about a misprint.

Best wishes,

Cathy Hunter
Hi Scott,

Cool. Thanks for posting these comments over here. Otherwise I do not think I would have seen them.

Does this mean that 10% of the covers that went out looked like this? I have never seen another one myself.

Thanks again!
Hi Chris,

What usually happens at a reliable printer's, is that something like this is destroyed as printer's waste, obviously something that the client (NGS) would not want to see in circulation.

So, even if an estimated 10% of experimental covers produced might have this type of flaw (to different degrees), it is normal that few, if any, get away.

But, obviously, this one did. So, while I am not particularly keen on this type of oddity personnally, there are surely collectors who will think that this oddity is the ultimate NGM variety.

I do tend to think that as far as the category of NGM printing errors is concerned, that this 1985 hologram misprint is the cherry on the cake. Why?

1] Because during this time period, NGS still maintained an ultra-strict policy of quality control, and would always rather "eat the cost" of mistakes at the printers press, rather than have them get out to the member's (public). This was still an era when they would stop the presses and destroy weeks' worth of printed issues to merely fix a comma or typo!

2] Being that this is but 1 of the 3 high-profile holgram issues (very seldom attempted for mass circulation books or magazines), this is undoubtedly not just the same (boring) type of misprint as a cover photo that is off-center, a red tv banner that is missing, or some kind of interior goof-up like an upside down printed page or a duplicate page being inserted into the issue.

3] also, to date, no single person has come forward with any misprinted holgram (Sept, 84, Nov. 85, Dec. 88) NGM issue, so is this truly one-of-a-kind?
Hi Jean and Scott!

You don't know how happy I am to finally get some information on this NGM.

Since getting this issue in the mail as a child I knew it was something cool. I am glad I was smart enough to stash is somewhere fairly safe and that it's in such good condition. I am keeping it in a plastic sleeve and in a fireproof cabinet now.

I wish I could show it to you guys in person. If you ever come to Northern California, please look me up and maybe we can get together and I'll show you the NGM.

Thanks again for your inputs and have a great day!


I also have some errors of the hologram issues (one exactly like yours and another with half the hologram missing and just white and another using Kromekote cover stock), but I cannot seem to take as good a picture of them as you have.  Can you please give me an idea of how to do it?  With a flash or without etc.

Thank you very much,

Jeff Persons


Boy, you sure are digging back into the old threads and having fun! That's great...I'm glad you are looking things over.

I'm not confident Chris M. is "still around", and may/may not ever reply. I can give you a hint though: his picture above was simply scanned on a printer/scanner/copier (aka 3-in-1's).

It's tricky to get good photos of the holograms. You need regular daylight, indirect, and put the magazine on a stand or holder, and usually, you are best off not to aim dead-on or dead-center, hold the camera at a slight angle to the hologram face . . . flash usually will not help bring out the detail and "3d-ness".

- Scott

I am still around!  I was also very surprised to here a little information on this as well.  


I have the same misprint that you do as well as a misprint where only one-half of the hologram is present.  I also have a copy of the same issue using Kromekote cover stock.  I don't know how well this will show but it vastly enhances the quality of the hologram.  It gives it more "punch".  That issue was obtained from Roger Nathan through Howard Paine, the Art Director for the Society as a gift for giving Howard some Eisenhower items.  There were only a handful printed.

Sorry about the quality of the scans but this is my first try and they did not come out as well as they should.



Hi Jeff,

That is awesome!  So you received these from someone that worked at NG?  Do you know anymore about how many were printed?  When you say you have a copy on Kromekote cover stock do you mean like a photo copy?  Is both your misprinted holograms the actual magazine like mine?

Thanks for posting a reply!




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