“When Did You Get Your Letter?”: Mina and Lima Discuss Their Wizarding World History

We are always admiring the gorgeous art in the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films, but we don’t always get a chance to hear from the designers themselves. Eduardo Lima and Miraphora Mina, the two who make up the graphic design duo MinaLima, recently spoke at the Adobe Creative Meetup 2018 in London. After a series of clips highlighting the team’s work in the Potter films, Mina and Lima spoke about their thought process, their history, and their future.

According to Mina, much of the work from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was not saved digitally because they had an “analog relationship” with graphic design back then. Thank goodness they can save all their work now!

Lima asked Mina, “When did you get your letter?”, beginning a discussion of Mina’s work on the series.

I got my letter in 2000, when no one really knew what that letter was. In fact, I had to design it. It didn’t even exist visually until I was asked to work on the first Harry Potter film.

Lima and Mina were freelance designers and had no idea what this franchise would mean.

The kind of content that Harry Potter had was so dependent on the visual references to drive the story. I don’t think we had any idea the kind of scope that would unravel.

Mina encouraged the audience to consider graphic design for film as a career. Lima and Mina explained what a film crew should look for in a graphic designer, particularly someone who can “geek out” about the process.

The pair also explained that sometimes spelling is not quite a priority. Take a look at the educational decrees in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and you might notice a few spelling errors.

It’s important for Mina and Lima to get into character when they’re designing for a specific character. Mina described “throw[ing] the rules out” when designing something like Fred and George’s joke shop or the Advanced Potion-Making textbook.

If I’m writing Snape’s handwriting, I need to think, ‘Well, what kind of thought process would he have before he’s going to make a mark on the paper? All those things are all tied up with storytelling.

Lima touched on the duo’s longevity in the franchise.

Our journey in the wizarding world has been 18 years for Mira. I joined her on the second film and [it] has been absolutely incredible.

Lima said people often ask them if they’re bored with the series. “Not at all,” he tells them. “Every day is a new challenge.”

“Don’t be frightened to leap in,” ended Mina. Check out the full talk below!