The design studio MinaLima know a thing or two about illustrating the Wizarding World, having created iconic props (from the Daily Prophet newspapers to the Marauder’s Map) for all of the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films. Now, they are illustrating a Harry Potter book for the very first time.
‘This book was a big responsibility as it has become a modern classic – loved by millions of children across the world,’ Eduardo explains. ‘Harry Potter fans have a passion for this magical world, the like of which we had never experienced before, despite working on numerous other classic tales such as The Beauty & The Beast or Pinocchio, that have in fact been with us for centuries.’
‘We started by reading the book and creating a ‘book map’ where we identify key moments, unusual twists and visually interesting opportunities. We then decide whether these situations would be best represented as full page illustrations, spot illustrations, or interactive elements.’
This edition features J.K. Rowling's complete and unabridged text accompanied by MinaLima's handsome colour illustrations on nearly every page. The design team have even included a few paper craft surprises for readers, such as a fold-out acceptance letter to Hogwarts.
‘It is also a very technical, three-dimensional process,’ Eduardo adds. ‘We need to make sure the inserts and features are evenly spread out through the book and that manufacturing in volume will be feasible – quite the opposite of designing a book as a film prop!’
Of course, the first Harry Potter book introduces us to so many images (from beloved characters to iconic locations) that are now carved into Harry Potter fans’ memories forever. So, what particular illustrations were some of MinaLima’s favourites?
While Eduardo opts for the introduction of Hogwarts, Mira goes for... ‘Diagon Alley! The interactives are where we need to consider a more 3D and playful approach; this one is full to the brim with rich content for the reader to discover…hopefully much like Harry did on his very first visit.’
The team were also excited to illustrate elements of the Wizarding World they hadn’t had a chance to tackle before.
‘This book brought new opportunities: we could bring to life some pieces that are important to the story but did not make it into the films, for example Dumbledore’s magical watch,’ Mira reveals.
We won’t spoil the rest of the book for you, but simply muse with MinaLima on why the Harry Potter books are so beloved over 20 years later.
‘In my opinion, the appeal is a magical world anchored in a reality we are already completely familiar with,’ Mira says. ‘What better situation than seven school years…Harry receives his acceptance letter for Hogwarts when he is 11, we too receive confirmation to our secondary school at 11. And the fact that it is a physical letter, like so many of the other key ‘props’ in this universe, for me allows us to immediately accept this fiction as our new reality. Likewise, by referencing universal themes of friendship, equality, good prevailing over evil, love, etc., the reader is able to wholly identify with the characters through their own personal journeys.’
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone/Philosopher’s Stone (MinaLima Edition) is out now, published by Scholastic in the US and available in the UK with Bloomsbury.
You can also purchase a signed edition of the book from MinaLima’s shop.