In the film adaptation of J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the amazing creatures of the title escape into the non-magical world, causing all sorts of mischief. This otherworldly encounter is expressed in the logo designed by Pentagram, which features custom typography composed of both standard and beastly letterforms.
The Pentagram designers collaborated closely on the project with Sue Kroll, Warner Bros. Pictures’ President of Worldwide Marketing and International Distribution, and John Stanford, SVP of Worldwide Marketing and Creative Advertising at Warner Bros., as well as the film’s director, David Yates; the producer, David Heyman; and J.K. Rowling and her team, including Neil Blair of The Blair Partnership.
The look of the logo had to relate to the Harry Potter franchise, but also establish the film as its own story. It also had to give an idea of what the beasts are, and convey the depth of the film, which is Rowling's first screenplay and expands on her 2001 book, which was written under the pen name Newt Scamander (the lead character in the film) and presented as a textbook owned by Harry Potter. Harry has his signature lightning bolt, and “Fantastic Beasts” needed its own iconography.
The designers let their imaginations run wild when drawing the custom typeface, which contains both standard and beastly characters. An entire alphabet was developed for both sets of letters, one with hair and other beastly attributes and the other without. The final logo strikes a balance, with the ominous spiny bristles breaking out across the letterforms and an extended “S” giving the biggest clue to what the creatures look like in the film.
The typography is available in the chiseled, dimensional version seen in the trailer and poster and a flat graphic that can be used in applications like book covers and apparel. The designers also created versions in several foreign languages, and a “FB” monogram that is used as an icon in social media. Comprehensive guidelines were also developed for how the logo should be used in promotion for the film.