Interview: MinaLima Attends SND Chicago
Earlier this month, MuggleNet caught up with MinaLima, graphic designers of the Harry Potter films, as they spoke at a conference put on by the Society for News Design. SND Chicago is a three-day event with dozens of panels that were planned both for and by working members in the field of news design, and this year celebrated its 40th anniversary as a conference.
Designers Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima were invited to speak about their involvement in developing the entire graphic style of the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts series, especially the newsprint headlines of the Daily Prophet and other in-universe publications.
After an impressive introductory video, MinaLima spoke about how they became entrusted with such a monumental task, how they found each other professionally, and the lessons they learned along the way. Once their planned discussion concluded, they took questions from the audience of news and design makers.
In an exclusive interview with MuggleNet, MinaLima spoke further about their various artistic inspirations, recent trips, and plans around the globe. They also took the time to promote their new personalized Hogwarts acceptance letters (which Miraphora Mina writes personally, by hand!).
When asked about their forthcoming return to Osaka, Japan, Miraphora Mina said, “Last year, we sort of tested the waters by doing two pop-ups for a week each. But this time, it’s going to be a little bit more substantial. So it’s really exciting. We’ve got some wizards working over there as we speak, actually.” Eduardo Lima added, “We plan to open it this month, but we do not know the exact date. And that is sort of a soft opening because the grand opening is when we are going to go there in May,” to which Mira replied, “It’s really exciting because that corner of the world has the park, but there’s not much else there, and when we went there before, we had the most extraordinary reception from people. We fell in love with Japan, so we’re going back.”
Miraphora Mina, who was brought on to do graphic design work on the very first Potter film (before meeting Eduardo), was excited for her journey to come full circle now as she is designing handmade Hogwarts letters available for sale on the MinaLima website. We asked if this was the first prop that she worked on.
Yes! Weirdly, it’s like Harry. Because it was my first induction into the wizarding world. I didn’t really understand what was coming, probably in the same way that he did [not understand]. And I was the only person doing that piece and I had to be McGonagall for a moment. Just as we try and become all the other characters when we are creating the props. […] And we also take orders for personalized letters. You can type in your requested name, address… If you’d like to have a cupboard under the stairs, that’s fine as well. And we’ve created a really nice presentation box, which is made from Japanese silk and is handmade and hand blocked in gold.
Toward the end of our interview, we also touched on the circus posters that MinaLima designed for the Circus Arcanus in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Miraphora spoke on the grandeur found in circus posters of the era.
Most circuses that we’re all familiar with, they’ll think of spectacle. There’s humor, it’s fun, it’s a showy situation. And even when we looked at graphics references from old circuses, there’s a grandeur to them. But this one we knew from the start, in talking to Jo and David Yates, that it had this slightly sinister twist to it. So we had to try and show both a circus enterprise that had to show that ‘come to us!’ thing but also that there was a bit of a twist to it. So those posters, the choice of typography and the colors, that Maledictus poster for Nagini is both meant to make her look glamorous but is a bit sinister. There’s a lot of black. The fonts are a little slightly aggressive.
We certainly learned a lot (as usual) from speaking with MinaLima. Be sure to check out the entire 18-minute interview below!