Monday 19th Nov 2018
We dropped into House of MinaLima in London’s Soho to soak up the magic of their new exhibition – and chatted to the design duo behind the work, Eduardo Lima and Miraphora Mina.
To celebrate the latest cinematic release from the Wizarding World, design duo MinaLima are hosting a new exhibition showcasing all their graphic art and designs from Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.
The exhibition, which has taken up residence at House of MinaLima in London’s Soho, will display over 50 new and original graphic prints by the award-winning design studio. Speaking to Pottermore, one half of the duo behind MinaLima, Eduardo Lima, explained that with the new film being set in 1920s Paris it was a gift getting to explore this era in their designs.
‘I keep saying it’s like winning the lottery,’ he says. ‘The first film was set in 1926 in New York – oh my gosh. For any designer, for any creator, this is an amazing period to recreate – and it’s very hard to be as good as the original artists were because everything was hand-made. And in the second film, we’re in Paris. We could really show the art nouveau style – and how it was very strong at that time – but also, the new trends coming in.'
Along with the Parisian designs, which includes the insignia for the Ministère des Affaires Magiques de la France (The French Ministry of Magic), the exhibition also showcases all the stunning artwork and posters for Le Cirque Arcanus. These include some incredible art nouveau style images of magical creatures, including a Maledictus. ‘We designed all the shops around the circus as well and we had to invent the names in French and create whole identities for the shops,’ Eduardo says. ‘So, you should check out the circus artwork. You have to!’
Eduardo’s favourite item, however, is the first edition cover art for Newt Scamander’s book, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – the famous wizarding world textbook that is featured on the Hogwarts reading list.
‘In Harry Potter, we see a different cover, but that’s probably edition 9 or 10 because it’s 70 years later. So, this is the first, first edition of Fantastic Beasts written by Newt Scamander; it’s quite special,’ he reveals, ‘We captured the same sort of style – gold on black, and hopefully we can go on to make all the other editions as well. But one thing that me and Mira love doing for Fantastic Beasts and Harry Potter - we love designing the textbooks for the school.’
This love of designing the fictional textbooks within Harry Potter extended to Nicholas Flamel’s magical contacts ‘book’. ‘I remember that Jo and David Yates came on a Friday to see me and Mira and said, “Any free time over the weekend? We just have a new prop for the film that is going to be a bit of work but you’re going to love it,”’ he recalls. ‘It’s like magical FaceTime or Skype. We wanted it to look like one of those old Victorian photo albums, so when you go through the pages it looks like a normal photo album.’
Despite all the new posters, prints and designs, Eduardo is extremely excited for what is to come in the remaining Fantastic Beasts films. Although he admits that even after all these years keeping the secrets can still be a challenge.
‘I’m so happy everyone is finally going to see The Crimes of Grindelwald so we can talk about it!’ he says. ‘But we know so much. We have to be very careful, but we are used to it by now.’
However, don’t go thinking that he’ll reveal any spoilers. ‘I would never say anything, because why would you want to spoil it for someone?’ he adds. ‘You have to go through those emotions and go to the cinema.'
Along with the exhibition, MinaLima have also designed two new books, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald - The Original Screenplay and The Archive of Magic: Explore the Film Wizardry of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Both books, as well as prints, are available for sale at House of MinaLima and on minalima.com, and you can also purchase the books from other outlets too.
Best foot forward, there is lots to see!