The 10″ Album Covers From Harry Potter
THE 10″ ALBUM COVERS FROM HARRY POTTER
The “Incantation Records, Music to Charm Your Ears” and “Spell-O-Fonix, Sparkling Sounds for the Discerning Wizard” are two graphic prop album covers that feature in the Harry Potter films. These are just a small part of the plethora of work created by graphic designers Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima (MinaLima) over the course of the 8 movie series. Unfortunately, the covers were barely seen on screen but still well worth a taking a closer look at, due to their wonderful artwork.
The Incantation Records album first appears in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban when Professor Lupin puts on a vinyl the old school gramophone, for his students to tackle the boggart to. The use of the diegetic music adds an upbeat and active dynamic to the scene but the cover for this record isn’t really seen at all. What I love about this cover is the big central star, representing the active, pulsing, beat of the music on the album. Also, the deep red and creamy colour pallet, along with the very straight lines, strongly evokes the bold German Constructivist art from the 1920s, very fitting for this music.
The Spell-O-Fonix album appears in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and is played by Argus Filch for Professor Mcgonagall to teach the Gryffindor’s to dance. The song on the “a” side of the record is the “Wizard Waltz”. In the final score of the film, the piece is called “Neville’s Waltz”. Like the first cover, this barely gets seen, but the design is so beautiful and evocative of a winter wonderland. The ice white, marbled background looks like frost and snow. The blue rings fade in darker, one by one, forming a target that leads your eye to the centre and heart of the record. Then the spiral of shimmering stars leads you around and out again, creating a magical wintery loop.
So much thought went into these two incredible graphic props and it’s thanks to Leavesden Studios that I was able to get a really close look at them. I took the blog cover photo in 2015 when they first set up Lupin’s projector on the studio tour and was thrilled that I could finally see the detail as there were no pictures of them online at the time. It was difficult to tell on screen and little details like the fact these are 10” album covers is something I just didn’t know before I saw them in person. In thousands of productions, tens of thousands of minor props like these go unnoticed and are ultimately forgotten in time, so thanks again to Warner Bros for preserving and displaying these, along with so many other incredible graphic props from the films for the public to see up close.