Book Cover Design

After researching several art movements, I wanted to create a book cover based on minimalist design. After re-reading The Catcher in the Rye I conducted further research on some of the names of characters in the novel. There are several theories regarding why J.D. Salinger chose the name ‘Holden Caulfield’ as the protagonist of the book. One of the theories is that Holden Caulfield was named after Holden Bowler, a shipmate of Salinger’s during the war. I chose waves for the cover to represent Holden Caulfield’s tumultuous adolescence as well as a potential link to the story behind his name.

Holden Caulfield has a special relationship with his younger sister, Phoebe. At some point in the novel he buys her a record, which he later drops and shatters into fifty pieces at the park. The broken record is a metaphor for a shattering of innocence, Holden is also on the verge of a breaking point throughout the story. The broken record also symbolic of Holden’s misinterpretation what he believes to be a song lyric, ‘if a body catch a body comin’ through the rye’.

The last cover is very minimal and an attempt to produce a cover that looked less modern than the other two. The Catcher in the Rye was published in 1951, and J.D. Salinger had strict rules about what could be published on the covers. While this cover would still break the rules by including an illustration, I kept it very simple with one of the main symbols of the book.

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