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London-based studio MinaLima's graphic design for the new Harry Potter theme park
Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima of MinaLima’s experience on the films meant they were able to reference key visual icons.

LONDON.- Universal Studios Orlando’s new theme park 'Diagon Alley’ in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, for which London-based design studio MinaLima conceived the graphic elements on the build, is now open to the public (or, Muggles).

Having designed the graphics for all eight films in the Harry Potter film saga, MinaLima was brought on to handle all graphic elements of the build (such all the street graphics, store interior graphics, shop window displays and so on) – no small job since the graphics are fundamental to driving the visitor experience throughout.

Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima of MinaLima’s experience on the films meant they were able to reference key visual icons from the films, as well as creating a wealth of new designs exclusively for this world. For example, the Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes Store is an almost exact replica of the film set, whereas the Elf Employment Agency or the Hopping Pot buildings were new creations.

Following the success of Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter (2010), the studio extended the Wizarding World with the addition of Diagon Alley. The idea was to recreate that which was seen in the films, but on an even greater scale with additional locations and ‘actual’ functioning shops from J.K. Rowling’s original fiction. Critical to its success was the employment of the same design team who created the films, with production designer Stuart Craig at the helm to ensure the new park would be a complete, immersive experience rather than simply a ‘themed’ environment.

MinaLima’s design approach was no different from that taken on a film project: “Our task was to help tell the story (the revelation of a wizarding world hidden behind a ‘Muggle’ London facade) by virtue of graphic pointers. Key to creating this ‘world’ was trying to give individual personality to each shop or advertisement, and yet allowing them to all sit harmoniously as a unique, extraordinary environment. Typography is our voice and we feel it vital to push the boundaries of expectation. Fonts are either found and scanned from archive material or designed for purpose. The design direction was to fill every available surface with graphics, and the striking yet faded ‘ghost graphics’ were to be suggestive of a history of the place. And not forgetting the brilliant humour that is inherent in the Harry Potter stories, particularly with some of JK Rowling’s wonderful invented shops, we needed to keep the aesthetic light hearted, and of course quintessentially British!” says Co-founder of MinaLima, Miraphora Mina.

MinaLima was founded in London in 2009 by Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima. Mira and Eduardo had the good fortune to meet on the set of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and from then on found themselves connected in every design decision through their shared creativity and humour.

Mira studied Film Design at The National Film & TV School, London, after graduating from Central Saint Martins with a degree in Theatre Design. Subsequently working in film design, she eventually specialised in graphic and prop design for some of cinema’s leading production designers.

Eduardo graduated in Visual Communications in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and for several years worked in editingon major Brazilian feature films. He moved to London in 2001 to enrich his professional experience, harnessing a career in graphic design upon his engagement in 2002 on Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets where he met Mira.

Mira and Eduardo spent ten years as graphic designers on the Harry Potter films. As the creators of the graphic representation of the Marauder’s Map, the Daily Prophet and every other graphic prop in the film series, they have a superb and passionate understanding of the Harry Potter films. The graphic design aesthetic MinaLima developed for the Harry Potter films is still sought after.

As well as producing book designs, packaging & graphic film props from their London studio, they have an online MinaLima store selling original limited edition art prints and homeware of their own design

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