Why Fantastic Beasts graphic designers MinaLima love the 1920s

The Pottermore Correspondent

Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima at A Celebration of Harry Potter, 2015
Eduardo Lima and Miraphora Mina at A Celebration of Harry Potter, 2015. Aaron Davidson / Stringer/ Getty Images.

Graphic designers Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima have plastered their studio wall-to-wall with 1920s maps, food labels, magazine covers, posters and sketches while they work on Fantastic Beasts. They let us have a snoop around.

‘The 1920s! What an era, especially in New York,’ says Mira. ‘That period is just a blessing for graphic designers like us.’

‘We always used to say the fifties or the sixties were our favourite era, but no – since working on this movie, the twenties are just everything,’ says Eduardo.

Mira and Eduardo can generally be found in a little studio within the Fantastic Beasts Art Department at Leavesden Studios, somewhere under a mountain of vintage American posters. Their entire creative space is littered with objects they’ve designed for the film and the walls are plastered with inspiration.

MinaLima 20s inspiration landscape 2
Some of the 1920s maps, adverts, and graphics MinaLima have emblazoned on their office walls for inspiration

They produced the graphic designs for the Harry Potter films, and since Stuart Craig and David Yates recruited them for Fantastic Beasts, they’ve been collecting 1920s ephemera wherever they go.

‘On our way back from A Celebration of Harry Potter in Orlando last year, we went to New York for research,’ begins Eduardo.

‘We went to the State Archives in New York to sift through the kinds of things that are mostly useless to everyone else. Everything from business cards and tickets to receipts, stamps and posters,’ continues Mira. ‘A couple of months later, we went to the opening of Harry Potter: The Exhibition in Paris and we spent four hours in this little Parisian shop going through more things from the era of this film.’

‘We’re nerdy like that...’ says Mira, with a sweeping gesture around the room. She beckons me over to look more closely at the walls of the studio. It’s breathtaking, this sprawling collection of mementos from an era none of us lived through.

Here are some glimpses at their inspiration walls. You’re looking at the very beginnings of what will become New York City in 1926, according to J.K. Rowling...

MinaLima 20s inspiration portrait 1
More beautiful examples of 1920s graphic design MinaLima have collected on their travels

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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – The Original Screenplay