The Harry Potter films transport you to a world full of magic and wonder. But to create that world, every detail needs to be considered. From the label on a Butterbeer bottle to Harry’s exercise book, join us as we explore the tiny pieces that make up the intricate tapestry of the wizarding world.

The Butterbeer logo

There’s no wizarding drink more iconic than Butterbeer. This amber delight is a firm favourite amongst Harry and his friends. Who can resist that butterscotch flavour that warms your belly? It’s no surprise that MinaLima were tasked with bringing Butterbeer to life on screen with their original design in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.


Yet, this was a drink so popular that it made the leap from the screen to reality when MinaLima were asked to rebrand Butterbeer for the Muggle world in 2020. As with all their creations, the design has a rich backstory with lots of tiny, but very interesting, details…


And Butterbeer is having yet another moment in 2024, with Butterbeer season! Keep an eye out for another brand-new label. You can find out how you can celebrate this frothy favourite here.

Hogwarts exercise books

You can’t attend school without an exercise book – magical schools included! Where else would you make all your very thorough and detailed notes on Golpalott’s Third Law… or those doodles while you daydream through History of Magic lessons? As with every other element of the movies, there was so much care and attention put into these books.

Harry, Ron and Hermione all had an exercise book that accompanied them through their time at Hogwarts – each with their name handwritten on the front. Even that detail had to be carefully considered. For example, what would Hermione’s writing look like in comparison to Ron’s? Going further, their names had to be written in quill and ink – there are no ball point pens at Hogwarts! Finally, as each character progressed through the school and got older, their handwriting had to subtly change to reflect that too.


Bertie Bott’s Every-Flavour Beans

This must be one of the more memorable sweets of the wizarding world – especially when you end up getting a rather unfortunate flavoured bean… earwax anyone? For this design, MinaLima wanted to show that this was a treat that had been around for years, a classically British treat whilst also being eye-catching and fun. So, they based the design of the box on a vintage Punch and Judy booth. Like this puppet show, the smiling children on the front may seem to be innocent but beware which bean you select – vomit flavoured is certainly not innocuous.


The cover of the Lockhart books

Gilderoy Lockhart loved, well, Gilderoy Lockhart, and MinaLima made sure that his vanity was reflected in the design of his books. Each and every one featured a moving picture of the man himself, perfectly dressed with his hair primped and coiffed. He also took centre-stage with his image wrapped in a gold frame – making sure that all eyes were on the five-time winner of Witch Weekly’s Most-Charming-Smile award! However, just like Lockhart, these books aren’t quite what they appear to be. At first glance, they seem to be made from luxury materials but look a little closer and you’ll see it’s all a charade.

Fun fact, to create the moving image on the front, MinaLima typically design a layout for the photographer to try and recreate. They then make a prop book with croma key green in place of the photos. In post-production, the green areas are replaced with the moving images thanks to the visual effects team!


The Apothecarium

Throughout the course of the films, MinaLima were responsible for creating hundred, or even thousands, of labels. Many of them were for potions – and Professor Slughorn’s Apothecarium in Half-Blood Prince was a particular treasure trove for such things.

In his classroom, there were bottles upon bottles of potions and ingredients lining the shelves, from belch powder to armadillo bile to the extremely poisonous Potion No. 07. Every single label was handmade and aged – some were even handwritten! And the labels didn’t just include what was in a particular bottle, some even had manufacturing names, ingredients lists and even skull and crossbones sign… we’d probably stay away from those!


The Chudley Cannons

They might not have been the best Quidditch team (some might even say they were pretty terrible), but they were Ron Weasley’s favourite. His bedroom at The Burrow was a shrine to the Chudley Cannons. Every surface was dedicated to his obsession. His room was plastered with posters and the walls beneath were bright orange to reflect the team colours. He even had a bright orange Chudley Cannon blanket on his bed. Then there were all the books, magazines, badges and other memorabilia dotted about!

MinaLima had a lot of fun creating Ron’s collection and used it to say something about the history of the team. All the items were bright orange, but the designs were varied to show the different eras and iterations of the Chudley Cannons throughout the years.


Ministry of Magic paperwork

Running a magical government requires a lot of paperwork – especially when you’re Dolores Umbridge trying to track those who might be helping ‘Undesirable No. 1’ (AKA Harry Potter). And when Harry breaks into her office in Deathly Hallows Part One, he spots files on those who are suspected to be helping him – Albus Dumbledore, Mad-Eye Moody, Remus Lupin and Arthur Weasley.

All of that paperwork was designed by MinaLima who wanted to convey a rather particular personality for these props. To do that, all the paperwork was laden in seals, stamps, reference numbers and typography – creating an essence of authority and extreme bureaucracy.


Discover more of the details that helped bring the Harry Potter films to life in The Magic of MinaLima: Celebrating the Graphic Design Studio Behind the Harry Potter & Fantastic Beasts Films.

Click here to purchase this edition from the Harry Potter Shop if you are in the UK and here if you are in the US.