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fantastic beasts icons

A set of 24 unified symbols based on Fantastic Beasts, a movie series written by J. K. Rowling featuring the magical creatures in the Wizarding World. The final symbol set includes the 12 most-shown creatures in the movie with front and side views. Intended to use alongside merchandise, these symbols capture the peculiarity of the creatures and the magical essence of the movie.


5 weeks, May - June 2020


Joanne Chen, Ariel Chiang


Conceptual development, Divergent ideation, Iteration, Icon, Poster Design

design challenge

Design a cohesive symbol set for a specific subject that has clarity, readability, consistency, and personality. Consider the usage of the symbols and the context they are in, such as on merchandise, decorative/commemorative posters, in exhibitions, etc.

design research

Our team researched possible topics and determine the specific subjects for our symbol set. We looked at existing themes that best suit the direction we are going with and created a mood board to convey the general idea.


To start, we were both interested in creating symbols for specific reptiles and birds that were either mythical or extinct. We wanted to have a strong theme behind the symbols so we looked at greek mythology, movies about mythical creatures, and exhibitions that display unique reptiles. After exploring various themes and ideas, we decided to base our symbols on the creatures in Fantastic Beasts.


After deciding on the theme, we listed out all the creatures in the movie and ranked them by screen time. We then choose 12 creatures that are important and distinctively different in appearance.

symbol exploration

During our symbol ideation phase, we explored a wide variety of visual and conceptual ideas, considering both style and subject matter for the Fantastic Beasts.

STYLE 1  (left column)

Linear Style

Creatures are drawn with lines, they have bone-like structures, and are created with more geometric shapes.

STYLE 2 (second to left column)

Color Blocks

Creatures are drawn in sections, with each one filled in a different color. Playful, abstracted, a mix of geometric and organic shapes.

STYLE 3 (second to right column)

Circular Icons

Creatures are framed in a circle, they are either curled up or in a posture that creates a circle. Consistent shape, cartoon-like.

STYLE 4 (right column)


Creatures are drawn in 3/4 side view, colored in black with white lines defining the features. Mysterious-feeling, realistic features.

symbol refinement

We determined the overall form language and general design direction for our symbol set, and continued to iterate and unify them with systems and style guides.


In order to unify the visual style of the symbols and have a clear system to follow when refining them, we created a visual style guide.


  • Geometric form as the base, organic form for the decorative elements

  • Line-based style with medium strokes

  • 1:1 and abstracted form for the front view; proportional and detailed form for the side view 


We decided to go with style 1 because it has a distinctive look and gave us the most opportunity to design. After considering the context of the symbols, we also decided to add side views of the creatures for more detailed and informative use.


We then continued to refine our symbols using the style guide, adding thicker line weight, using geometric shapes as the base, and refining the side view so that they can easily translate to the front view​


Considering the different usage of the icons, we decided to have the front view in a 1:1 proportion and have the side view in the proportion of the actual creatures. We also made different variations of the same creatures to create the bone-like structure.

final symbol set

Below are the refined symbol set of the front view and the side view. The front view are displayed with circular pattern backgrounds that shows their characteristics or the environment they live in. The side view are shown on the bottom, and changes color with the corresponding front view.

poster exploration

With a refined symbol set, we began to explore different poster designs that would best fit with the style of the icons and the movie. We tried showcasing our symbols like an infographic, implementing the usage into the poster, dividing the front and side view into two posters, played with different colors and more.

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