MinaLima are the talented folk behind much of the visuals in the Harry Potter films, as well as the new look Happy Bathday, 29 Gift and the Buying Map knot-wrap.
How did you come to form MinaLima Design?
After working together on all of the Harry Potter films we could not end the magic there…!
The initial fantasy of having a studio in central London soon became a reality when we realised how many different projects we’d like to take on beyond the film work.
You worked on every Harry Potter film. How did you create the particular design aesthetic you've become renowned for, and what is your highlight from working on such a long-term project?
Design decisions are always led by the demands of the story. We were lucky on Harry Potter that we were able to reference different historical periods and styles in order to help tell the story. There was room to invent a new visual language by morphing these different styles through our own interpretation of them.
The highlight was to have to have had such an unusual design opportunity and ultimately be part of this film legacy.
As well as working on films, you've branched out into designing merchandise, books, and prints. Is there an area you most love working in, and do you have a particular design you're most proud of?
We love telling stories through design, be it branding, book design or packaging. The project that has been the most personally rewarding has been our self initiated Woop Studios Collection. We gave ourselves the challenge of illustrating collective nouns and turning them into an online business.
Can you tell us more about the Museum of Paper Goods, which you describe on your website as 'extraordinary treasury of ephemera'?
This is a project in development that is very close to our hearts, but not yet ready to reveal in full… watch this space!
What are the challenges and benefits of working collaboratively? What do you feel you each bring to the partnership?
It’s a working marriage; you have to be able to spend 11 -12 hours a day, sharing ideas, humour and values. We were fortunate to be able to test-drive this relationship during our engagement on Harry Potter!
How did you get your inspiration for your Lush gift collection, and how did you find the experience?
There were three distinct styles for this collection:
Given that ‘29’ is Lush’s most high-end gift item it needed a refined, boutique aesthetic. We looked at 1920s luxury luggage as reference. Lush suggested relevant city locations for the labels, to tie in with their flagship stores.
For the ‘Knot Wrap’, we were given a specific brief by Lush to communicate the provenance of the ingredients used in their products. They were completely open to how we interpreted this brief. We looked at period fruit packaging from labels to orange papers to make the association with their fresh ingredients.
‘Happy Bathday’ – our brief was “psychedelic ducks” – enough said!
It was a privilege to be given so much space to be creative and make our own mark within an established brand. A partnership we hope will continue!
We always welcome new challenges even though fundamentally all design projects start from the same place; regardless of the end product it’s all about the ideas!
What's next for MinaLima?
We have just finished designing graphic props for WB’s Film ‘Tarzan’. We have three books coming out next year and will also be launching a high-end Harry Potter stationary range.
For more informaiton, see www.minalima.com.