Behind the Mockingjay Design

| April 13, 2012 | 1 Comment More

Two articles have recently surfaced that deal with the design of the Mockingjay pin.  The first comes from NYdailyNews where the original artists behind the design are interviewed:

The emblem idea was formed in a Ditmas Park home. That’s where Scholastic Inc.’s creative director, Elizabeth Parisi — whose bosses publish “The Hunger Games” prose — lives with her illustrator husband, Tim O’Brien, 47, a design professor at Pratt Institute.

“It was a collaboration,” Parisi told the Daily News Wednesday. “I don’t think about it like I was the boss.”

Scholastic asked Parisi in 2008 to come up with a design for children’s author Suzanne Collins’ new sci-fi thriller.

Parisi asked her hubby for advice — her trusted source on commercial art ever since she met him during another book cover project two decades ago.

“ ‘Hunger Games’ will probably be what people note with my career,” said O’Brien, whose proudest achievement was seeing his portrait of then-presidential candidate Barack Obama on the cover of Rolling Stone during the campaign.

“You don’t have control over what becomes your most popular work. The world decides. That’s the lesson,” O’Brien said.

Still, their 12-year-old son, Cassius, said he is impressed by his mom and dad’s role.

“My parents helped start ‘The Hunger Games.’ And now it’s a movie. It’s pretty cool,” the boy gushed. “Everybody in school reads them.”

O’Brien said his logo represents his admiration of Katniss’ complexity.

“It is not just a picture of a bird,” he said. “It is something vulnerable. It is a symbol of the main character, Katniss, who is tough and beautiful at the same time.”

“There is always a myth that if you pursue art that you will be a starving artist,” O’Brien said. “If you have solitary focus, you can achieve anything.”

The second article is about the jewelry designer of the pin itself, as used in the movie, via The New York Times – be sure to check out the full article for more details on what it’s like designing jewelry for Hollywood!

Dana Schneider, the jewelry designer who interpreted the pin (and its stunt double) from the book cover, has gotten requests to recreate the pin on Etsy, but she doesn’t own the rights.This pin isn’t Ms. Schneider’s first movie credit. She splits her time between Canton, Ohio, and Los Angeles, designing jewelry for the big screen and her own collections on Etsy. She calls herself “a small craftsperson” on her Etsy profile, yet her jewelry has been featured in over 50 movies, including “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” “Tron Legacy,” “X-Men” and others. This small-town girl with a big-time résumé is a Tiffany alumna who left to start her own jewelry business in 1985. Eventually she grew weary of buyers’ demands and the fashion-jewelry hustle in New York. So in 1999 she left the city for tinsel town with no connections. Now, she mentions costume designers by first name and cites Cher, Marilyn Manson and Rooney Mara as clients of her personal collections.


I had already worked with two of the costume designers, Judianna Makovsky, and her assistant, Lisa Tomczeszyn. I had worked with both these women on so many other projects and you sort of build a trust. I appreciate that they keep giving me opportunities. So they told me when they knew they were going to be working on “Hunger Games” that they wanted me to do it. It’s really wonderful.

The design itself, of course, is Suzanne Collins’s design on the book cover from eons ago. That’s why I knew when the costume designer mentioned “The Hunger Games,” she didn’t even have to tell me what the project was. What else could it be? I knew it was going to be a really important piece in the film.


You have a serious film résumé and your Etsy profile indirectly plays it down. Do you see yourself as having one foot in one world, and the other foot in another world?


Yes, in that there really isn’t a genre for what I’m doing. I don’t really fit in any category. I never fit in the crafts world. I don’t fit in the fine jewelry world, and I never really fit in the fashion world, either. Hollywood is about the only place I where I feel I do fit in.

There are a couple other companies in Hollywood that will do accessory film work. But I think I’m the only one that can really incorporate custom designs, as well as my own collection. I can also do things like stunt doubles for actors and for the jewelry I make. Like for “Hunger Games,” I had to make a stunt double for the mockingjay pin. There are a whole different set of things you have to follow so people don’t get hurt wearing your piece of jewelry. Most jewelers just want product placement. That’s not really what I do. That happens, but it’s not really what I set out to do. I really have a different goal in my business.


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Category: Movie, News, The Books

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  1. KEE says:

    Heres to sum it all up: The Mockingjay pin is BOSS !!!!!!!

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