MinaLima has created wonderful books for Harry Potter and fantastic beasts before, including the illustrated versions of the first novels. Now they’ve created an amazing book about the studio behind the graphic design used in the movies – The Magic of MinaLima: Celebrating the Graphic Design Studio Behind the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts Movies.
The book is quite large and feels very firm. On the cover, there is a beautiful relief illustration covered in gold. It’s very detailed, and you can find a lot of Harry Potter references such as the Marauders Map, textbooks and other accessories.
The book begins with a page on which an envelope is glued. Similar to previous Harry Potter books created by Minalima, the envelope can be opened and a larger piece of paper unfolded to reveal the very first email that Eduardo Lima sent to Miraphora Mina. You can unfold the envelope to read how they first met. Everything is designed like a movie script with some handwritten notes on the side, which makes the book very interesting to read. The following pages are the stories of Eduardo and Miraphora. It’s really nice to read where they come from and how it all started.
The book is also 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 piece of paper that has all the names of Dumbledore’s army written on it – they must have created a different handwritten font for each of the students! You can also find out how the designers created Harry’s Acceptance Letter, Hogwarts Textbooks, Potion Labels, Ron’s Howler, Marauders Map and 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 how they created all these things from scratch. Most of the pieces are completely handmade.
In the second section, we leave Hogwarts and continue to explore other understandings of the wizarding world such as those of Diagon Alley, Honeydukes, Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, the Black Family Tapestry, the various Ministries of Magic, the study of Grindelwald and even more. In this section you can also find some interactive elements. All the elements are very well made and make exploring the designs fun.
In the final section, “Beyond the Screen”, the book explains how the designs were made for the Warner Bros. Studio Tour and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Orlando. He also talks about how the designers launched their boutique, House of MinaLima; it all started by going to different conventions and selling prints to physical shops in London and New York (as well as pop-up shops in Korea and Japan). It’s a great story from start to finish and a great look back at everything they’ve accomplished over the past few years.
As a graphic designer, I loved this book from start to finish. I will never get over the tons of detail in this book, the stories and the drawings themselves. You can look at the pages for hours and always find new elements and interesting things – it was a joy to browse all these pages filled with the most beautiful and magical designs.
I also thought it was a wonderful way to find out how everything was created, how everything was made, and what the different stages were from sketch to finished product. Throughout the book there are (previously unknown) facts about some of the designs. I learned a lot from reading this book and loved seeing how the visual elements of the wizarding world were brought to life through MinaLima’s designs.
The Magic of MinaLima: Celebrating the Graphic Design Studio Behind the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts Movies was sent to MuggleNet by MinaLima. All opinions belong to the reviewer.