Rethinking The Catcher in the Rye

Rethinking The Catcher in the Rye - student project

For my project, I decided to redesign the cover for J. D. Salinger’s best-loved work, The Catcher in the Rye. I’ve revered Catcher ever since I read it in my 11th grade English class, but its cover has always left me feeling more than a little dissatisfied.


The book’s most popular cover highlights what I find to be one of the novel’s less significant images: a carousel horse. And because this feels confusing and disconnected from the text, I thought it’d be a fun challenge to design a cover that is more representative of Salinger’s work.


Rethinking The Catcher in the Rye - image 1 - student project


Luckily for me, Catcher in the Rye is remarkably rich with symbolism and imagery — so brainstorming couldn’t have been easier. I took a ton of notes while reading and then zeroed in on the following symbols and images: Holden’s red hunting hat, the ducks in Central Park, Allie’s baseball glove, and a field of rye.


Next up: establishing my audience!