Near the beginning of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” Harry, Ron, and Hermione visit Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, a magical joke shop opened by Ron’s brothers Fred and George.
It’s a fantastic scene, with magical toys whizzing and banging through the air. Fred and George Weasley opened the store after dropping out of Hogwarts, and they poured all of their creativity and energy into it, making everything from Anti Gravity Hats to Self-propelling Custard Pies.
But while everything is described or named in the books, it’s much more complicated to make it appear in the movie. It essentially requires designing an entire line of items from scratch. Graphic design firm MinaLima was tasked with making everything in Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes.
“It was a bit of a dream, really, to have six months to design a load of crazy packaging,” Minaphora Mina, the co-founder of MinaLima, told INSIDER.
Even though the store had just a couple of minutes of screen time, the designers at MinaLima had to design everything in the store, and make sure it had a plausible backstory. Everything in the shop had to look like it was manufactured and sold by the Weasley twins. Just as with the Marauder’s Map, they had to put themselves in the heads of the characters who would design the objects. They figured the Weasleys wanted to sell a lot of products and probably weren’t good designers, so they made everything look “vulgar and contradictory” with flashy colours and printing techniques.
“They’re teenagers, teenage boys whose mission was to sell as much stuff as possible,” Mina said. “Also it was a huge sense of humour. Everything about those two is about humour.”
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