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Harry Potter and a cauldron full of design fun!

It took me watching 7 movies in the Harry Potter saga before I came to the realization how it’s a typophile’s playscape! There are a few examples that really have gotten my attention over the years… We’ll start from the most recent and move backwards…

The Daily Prophet has been an ever-present aspect of the wizard community throughout the movies (Can I just add that when anyone got important information, it wasn’t because someone picked up a cell phone? Just saying…). My instant attraction is that it looks like it just rolled off a letterpress. The fonts used are so intriguing and different that I am literally pausing the movies to get a closer look!  Most often the camera only pans over a headline and a moving photograph, but when you finally look at stills of the paper, well the true artistry starts to show through. At first glance there is an antiquated feel to the paper (color of “paper”, font choices layout), but after taking a closer look, the layout suggests a graphic designer that truly has a grasp of hierarchy and a flair for contemporary design. It’s a perfect mesh of old and new.

The fonts come from a company called Crazy Diamond Design based out of the UK (http://www.crazydiamond.co.uk/). They digitize historical fonts so that they can be used  both in web and print. It’s a fun site to look through! The designers of the layout of The Daily Prophet are MinaLima Limited which is founded by designers Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima (http://www.minalima.com/) They have AMAZING work!

My next love affair is with the Marauder’s Map that Harry receives in the fourth movie, The Prisoner of Azkaban, from I believe the Weasley Twins. Whereas the Daily Prophet is all about more industrial fonts and truly looks like it was rendered from a mechanical source, the Marauder’s Map truly has that hand-made quality. Before it’s even opened, all the scroll fonts are beautiful. Also how the writing/drawings appear, as if they’re being inked on with a quill pen, gives that feeling that the design is no small feat. In my research on the Marauder’s Map, I actually found a link for you to make your own map! How to fold it and everything! I’m going to print mine out today! (Wand not included.) (http://www.britta.com/hogwarts/Year6/prep/map/MapWithInstructions.pdf)

The Marauder’s Map was also created by MinaLima. Their work is spectacular!

These movies are really endless in the examples that they have of awesome fonts and illustration. I didn’t even make it to all the wonderful books, such as The Monster Book of Monsters. There is a great gothic font on it’s covers, if you can see it between all the fur! So if there is something else that you graphically love from Harry Potter, post it!

4 thoughts on “Harry Potter and a cauldron full of design fun!”

  1. lKelly
     ·  Reply

    What a fun topic! I particularly thought it was brilliant when they incorporated the use of motion type within the Daily prophet during the end credits of “Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix.” (I believe that is correct).
    Also, I have a collectors edition Marauder’s Map!…..imagine that, right? 😉

  2. Hannah
     ·  Reply

    I really enjoyed reading your article and you’re right, the prop designers of the Harry Potter movies did an amazing job! Right now I’m looking for a free downoad of the font on the marauder’s map (the font of “Messrs.” and “are proud to “present”)…Do you have any idea where I could find that? Thanks! 🙂

    • admin
       ·  Reply

      Hello Hannah!

      Thanks for the comment! As for the actual fonts that were used, I didn’t have any luck finding out their names. Plus, if I did find them, they are probably licensed. There are a couple of places I like to use when looking for fonts, the main one being Font Squirrel. A friend of mine showed me this website ages ago and it’s really helped me out. When I went looking for a font that kind of matched the one you were looking for, I found Aquiline (click here to see). I think that if you type in “Quill Fonts” on google you will find many others that fit the style you’re looking for. Hope this helps! Good luck and thank you for reading!

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