Magical world of Harry Potter films revealed in new graphic design exhibition

MinaLima, which designed props for the Harry Potter movies, has opened an exhibition showcasing the spellbinding secrets behind the in-film graphics for the series.

MinaLima Opening Night 3

MinaLima, the consultancy which created graphic props for the Harry Potter films, has launched an exhibition showcasing its work from the series.

The Graphic Art of the Harry Potter Films includes 85 reproduced prints of MinaLima’s work, and 25 original props, which are on loan from the Warner Brothers Studio.

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Original pieces include books, letters, newspapers, the Marauder’s Map, and packaging from the Weasley family’s shop.

The work is displayed chronologically across eight walls in two rooms at the Coningsby Gallery, starting with the first Harry Potter film and going through to the eighth.

Miraphora Mina, co-founder at MinaLima, says the consultancy wanted to reproduce the graphic work as limited edition art prints to “make a business out of something we love”.

“Since finishing the films, we had hard drives full of design which hadn’t been seen or had just got into the corner of a frame,” says Mina. “We thought it would be nice to give these another life.”

She says that the chronological presentation shows the “evolution” of the designs.

“When I started out in 2000, I only had a very basic computer, and was photocopying, cutting, pasting and drawing a lot,” Mina says. “I feel like I’ve mastered some software on the job – but we don’t use it exclusively. We’re always using hand-drawn pieces, old typefaces from packaging, and things we’ve scanned in. We’re still very analogue in our approach and aesthetic.”

Alongside print reproduction and curation, the consultancy has also designed the exhibition space.

“We’ve taken everything on,” says Mina. “It was quite important for us that we included aspects that are true to the films.”

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The space includes fake “floating” candles” and postal letters that “fly in through the windows”, which were inspired by the Great Hall scenes in Harry Potter. They are rigged up with fishing lines to make them look like they’re suspended.

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Cabinets showcasing original props also include “little bits of things from our studio”, says Mina, such as pens, rubber stamps, inks, books and typefaces, to give people a sense of the things around the designers when they work.

The reproduced prints are on sale at the exhibition, and range in price from £39 – £900, depending on the detail of the work and the frame. There will be 1000 copies of most of the prints, and 250 copies of the more limited edition prints.

MinaLima will be present at the exhibition at weekends, to speak with fans and those who are interested in learning about graphic design.

“We’re all about being a normal, human face behind the graphics and speaking to people who have an interest in the craft, and a fascination for making,” Mina says.

The Graphic Art of the Harry Potter Films runs until 19 December at the Coningsby Gallery, 30 Tottenham Street, London W1T 4RJ. Entry is free.

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MinaLima Opening Night 1

All photos © Megan Taylor

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