The Graphic Art Of The Harry Potter Films

The Graphic Art Of The Happy Potter Films

Love them or loathe them, the Harry Potter films are part of British film history, turning the previously unknown Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson into household names.

The biggest stars have lined up to be in film franchise, including Dawn French, Helena Bonham Carter, Robert Pattinson, Fiona Shaw and Kenneth Branagh.

While I am a big fan of the books by JK Rowling, I must admit to being underwhelmed by the films, particularly the acting. What does stand out from the films are the set designs and also the unsung heroes of the film industry, the graphic designers.

All credit to the graphic designers of the Harry Potter films, Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima, as it is very hard to stand out and shine in a multi-million pound blockbuster film. But shine they do. Beautifully executed and drawn graphical elements such as maps, posters and books illuminate the screen.

Harry Potter geeks – as well as ardent admirers of graphic design – should beat a hasty path to The Coningsby Gallery, where you can see up close and personal the finely crafted pieces from the Harry Potter films by Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima, reproduced as limited edition art prints from their print studio, The Printorium,

Their company, MinaLima was founded when Mira and Eduardo met on the set of Harry Potter, and they spent the next ten years creating elements of the graphic design for JK Rowling’s films about the boy wizard that has captivated millions.

At the Tottenham Street gallery, you can pore over the fantastic Marauder’s Map, an essential tool in enabling Harry and his friends to find secret passageways and wander around Hogwart’s free from fear of discovery.

There’s so much exquisite attention to detail. Take the potions labels, for instance. You might think it wouldn’t be worth spending much time over, as they can hardly be seen in the films.

But these have been lovingly crafted and look like old vellum, distressed to look like Victorian apothecary vessels, amusingly titled Belch Powder and Sliced Caterpillar.

The posters of the Quidditch World Cup have stylistic influences to early Russian Constructivist art such as Rodchenko, with strong colours and geometric shapes.

There’s also book jacket designs including Travels with Trolls, written by Gilderoy Lockhart (played by Kenneth Cranagh), and you almost expect their portraits to move, as they do in the films.

The vivid patterns and technicolour hues are a tonic for even the most jaded eye.

The Graphic Art of the Harry Potter Films is on at The Coningsby Gallery until Friday 28 June.

Words: Fiona Keating

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