“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” is the highly anticipated new film set in the magical universe of J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World and released by Warner Bros. Pictures, following the blockbuster “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” (2016). Pentagram designed the identity for the new film, including a complete typeface, that builds on the logo for the first film, also designed by Pentagram, and hints at the exciting new story of the young wizards Newt Scamander, Albus Dumbledore and Gellert Grindelwald.
The Pentagram designers collaborated closely on the project with Sue Kroll, founder of Kroll & Co. Entertainment, 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.
As with the first film, the look of the logo had to relate to the larger Harry Potter franchise, but also establish “The Crimes of Grindelwald” as its own story. The original “Fantastic Beasts” logo looked like it was caught in a state of metamorphosis, bristling with beastly details that hinted at the film’s story of escaped creatures. The identity for “The Crimes of Grindelwald” also appears in a shimmering, otherworldly state, but here the reference is to wands, fire and other elements of magic, taking cues from the narrative of wizards doing battle.
The identity has a thoughtful sense of detail that conveys the depth of the film, which was written by Rowling, and of the immersive Wizarding World, which unites the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beast franchises. The “I” in “Crimes” takes the form of the Elder Wand, the most powerful wand in the Wizarding World, and other letters are set afire. The logo also hides a series of shapes––a circle, a triangle, and the aforementioned wand––that when combined form the symbol for the Deathly Hallows, the trio of magical artifacts that make a wizard a master of death, a wink to Harry Potter fans. This dovetailed nicely with Warner Bros.’ marketing campaign, which used the Deathly Hallows symbol as a prominent graphic element.
To draw the letterforms of the “Crimes” logo, the designers thought about the way a carved wand might feel, with twisted forms and the smoothed, well-worn wood of an ancient artifact. The team expanded the logo into a full typeface, playfully called “Crimes New Roman.” Pentagram collaborated with type designer Jeremy Mickel to create the font. The alphabet is available in both dimensional and flat versions, and is being used in marketing and social media.
In addition to the identity for “Fantastic Beasts,” Pentagram also designed the identity for the Wizarding World and for “Harry Potter: Wizards Unite,” a new mobile adventure from Niantic and WB Games, coming in 2019.