Despite being described as a small bird in flight attached only by the tips of its wings to the ring encircling it, the mockingjay pin featured on the cover of is depicted to also be holding an arrow in its beak and attached to the circle by its tail. It was designed by artist , who collaborated with his wife Elizabeth Parisi, Creative Director for Hardcovers at . She was responsible for the cover designs of and has characterized the creation of the mockingjay pin as a collaboration. According to O'Brien, "It is not just a picture of a bird. It is something vulnerable. It is a symbol of the main character, Katniss, who is tough and beautiful at the same time." Before the final version was adopted, he had submitted a design for an arrow and an alternate version of the logo that had the mockingjay's right wing pierced with a chain.
The mockingjay pin in is based on the version which appears on the cover of book. The use of the pin as a is eliminated as Katniss takes an interest in the pin at , where it is among the merchandise being sold by an she is dealing with and is allowed to keep it without payment. She gives it to her sister, , and before she leaves to participate in the Hunger Games, Prim gives it back to her for good luck in the Games. Cinna later hides the pin within a layer of Katniss' jacket. During the , President Snow also takes notice of the pin and examines it, something he did not do in the book.
Mockingjays have a certain level of symbolism in . It stands for a very exciting and a symbol of rebellion. Wearing a mockingjay pin is a sign of to the Capitol — whether or not the wearer means any harm. Not only did it fail in killing off their own creation, but it turned into something even better than before. The jabberjay mating was a symbol of justice, adding to the rebellion.