The Last Front Book Cover Design (Yellowface by R.F. Kuang)

At the heart of R.F. Kuang’s novel Yellowface is the fictional book titled The Last Front by Juniper Song.

I felt compelled to ideate and execute a dust jacket design, mostly because Yellowface was so much fun to read, but also as a challenge in designing something outside of my comfort zone. My passion and vocation is movie posters but I love to read. I recently jumped back in the deep end of fiction after sticking to non-fiction for what seems like decades.

My creative brief was born from the description that R.F. Kuang placed in Yellowface. However, I augmented it with my opinion of how it might play out in the real world. Here’s the excerpt from Yellowface describing the dust jacket:

“In the end, we went with a more modern theme. The words THE LAST FRONT are printed in massive block letters, against an abstract duo-chrome rendering of what looks like some French village on fire. We want colors that emphasize bold, epic, and romantic, wrote Daniella…The cover felt hefty, serious, attractive.”

Additionally, I knew the cover should not look great like if it came from the studios of Peter Mendelsund or Rodrigo Corral. It should feel mediocre, sloppy, incomplete, and bordering on haughty so that it signaled its presence in Yellowface

It’s awkward posting a design that is so blegh! but that was indeed the objective of this assignment. It was fun adding in details that only fans of Yellowface could appreciate, such as the quotes by two members of the clique “Eden’s Angels” Marnie Kimball and Heidi Steel.

I used a combination of stock photography, midjourney renders, and adobe photoshop.  

Using Format