We took a little trip down to London recently, and popped into the most magical print shop there is: The House of MinaLima.
For those who don’t already know, MinaLima is the creative team behind every graphic element in the Warner Bros. Wizarding World, everything from Harry’s Hogwarts acceptance letters, to the Black Family Tree Tapestry. The House of MinaLima is the home of these magical props.
Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima (best wizarding names ever, right?) met through a mutual friend and began working together in 2002, when Lima moved to England from Brazil. Mina had already worked on the first Harry Potter film by this point, and Lima joined her for Prisoner of Azkaban.
So imagine walking through Soho, turning onto Greek Street, and seeing the prettiest pink brick building adorned with strings of lights and the shop windows filled to the brim of wizarding wonders. As you step inside you are welcomed into the ground floor shop, home of memorabilia designed by MinaLima, including badges and card holders, wand permits, journals and signed copies of books and prints.
In addition to their work for the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley at Universal Orlando Resort, and other films such as Sweeney Todd, The Golden Compass and The Imitation Game, they have developed their own range of illustrated classic fairy tale books by Harper Collins, which is exhibited on the first floor. We climb the stairs and exit into the colourful fairy tale world filled with paper cuts and gold accented illustrations depicting Peter Pan, The Little Mermaid and The Jungle Book. You can pick up a signed copy of these, we indulged in a copy of The Jungle Book and cannot express how happy the interactive fold out and moving parts make us. It is just gorgeous!
Moving on up to the second floor and we are in full on wizarding nerd out mode. There’s Mrs Weasley’s howler, the Hogwarts Express ticket, issues of the Daily Prophet and the Quibbler, Undesirable posters and Ministry of Magic propaganda. MinaLima designed every page in the newspapers, magazines and books; using antique books for inspiration in binding and typeface – it was so exciting to see these props in person, but we challenge anyone to decipher the font used in the newspaper articles!
There’s also a little shrine to Weasley Wizard Wheezes and a workshop area that you can make your own Interdepartmental memos and other bits and bobs.
As you climb each staircase you notice an increase of Daily Prophet pages reporting the Triwizard Tournament and Undesirable posters featuring Bellatrix, and by the time you reach the top floor, there isn’t a blank bit of wall. The landing is made even more magical by ‘floating’ candlelight, welcoming you into the first room with even more Harry Potter props and artwork. There’s a fireplace mock up scene with hundreds of Hogwarts acceptance letters spilling out of it. There’s also cabinets of the classic books like Hogwarts: A History, Magical Hieroglyphs & Logograms, The Tales of Beedle the Bard and our favourite: The Half Blood Prince’s copy of Advanced Potion Making, which was exhibited open on the recipe for the Draught of Living Death, you know, the one that helps Harry win the bottle of Felix Felicis.
Entering the final room at The House of MinaLima, there are lavish Art Deco posters from MACUSA and No-Maj propaganda as well as a display case with props from Fantastic Beast and Where To Find Them.
The House of MinaLima really is a wonderful, ever changing place that we would happily revisit time and time again, and spend all of our money at.