Review: “The Magic of MinaLima: Celebrating the Graphic Design Studio Behind the Harry Potter & Fantastic Beasts Films”
MinaLima has created wonderful books for Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts before, including illustrated versions of the first few novels. Now, they’ve created an amazing book about the studio behind the graphic design used in the films — The Magic of MinaLima: Celebrating the Graphic Design Studio Behind the Harry Potter & Fantastic Beasts Films.
The book is quite large and feels very firm. On the cover, you can find a beautiful embossed illustration covered in gold. It’s very detailed, and you can find a lot of Harry Potter references such as the Marauders Map, school books, and other props.
The book starts with a page that has an envelope glued to it. Similar to the previous Harry Potter books Minalima created, the envelope can be opened and a larger paper unfolded to reveal the very first email that Eduardo Lima sent to Miraphora Mina. You can unfold the envelope to read how they met each other for the first time. It’s all designed like a movie script with some handwritten notes on the side, which make the book very interesting to read. The next few pages are the backstories of Eduardo and Miraphora. It’s really nice to read about where they came from and how it all started.
The book is otherwise divided into three parts: “Welcome to Hogwarts,” “The Wizarding World,” and “Beyond the Screen.” In the first part, the pages are filled with amazing sketches, copies of drafts, and briefings. There’s this one piece of paper that has all the names written on it from Dumbledore’s Army — they had to create a different handwritten font for each of the students! You can also find out how the designers created Harry’s acceptance letter, the Hogwarts school books, potion labels, Ron’s Howler, the Marauders Map, and so much more.
The map is another 3D element in the book; you can unfold it to see the sketches on the left side and the finished result on the right side. It’s amazing to find out how they created all these things from scratch. Most pieces are completely handmade.
In section two, we leave Hogwarts and continue exploring the other designs in the wizarding world such as those in Diagon Alley, Honeydukes, Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, the Black Family Tapestry, the different Ministries of Magic, Grindelwald’s Study, and so much more. In this section, you can find a few interactive elements as well. All the elements are very well made and make it fun to explore the designs.
The last section, “Beyond the Screen,” covers how the designs were made for Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort. It also talks about how the designers started their shop, House of MinaLima; it all started with going to different conventions and selling some prints to having physical shops in London and New York (as well as pop-up shops in Korea and Japan). It’s a beautiful story from start to finish and a nice look back at how much they’ve accomplished over the last few years.
As a graphic designer, I loved this book from beginning to end. I will never get over the tons of details in this book, the stories, and the designs themselves. You can look at the pages for hours and still find new elements and interesting things — it was a joy to go through all these pages filled with the most beautiful and magical designs.
I also thought it was a wonderful way to discover how everything was created, how everything was crafted, and what the different steps were from sketch to finished product. Throughout the book, there are some (previously unknown) facts about some of the designs. I learned a lot from reading this book, and I loved seeing how the visual elements in the Wizarding World came to life through MinaLima’s designs. You can head over to their website to grab your own signed copy of the book.
The Magic of MinaLima: Celebrating the Graphic Design Studio Behind the Harry Potter & Fantastic Beasts Films was sent to MuggleNet by MinaLima. All opinions belong to the reviewer.