Psycho is a 1960 American psychological horror film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The film centers on an encounter between a secretary who ends up at a secluded motel after stealing money from her employer, and the motel’s owner-manager.
The iconic “Psycho” title, which was created by Tony Palladino, originally appeared on the book jacket for Robert Bloch’s 1959 novel from which the film was adapted. Alfred Hitchcock then purchased the rights to the lettering for the film promotion, which influenced the opening credit sequence created by Saul Bass.
Mr. Palladino said the design — stark white letters torn and seemingly pasted together against a black background to resemble a ransom note — was intended to illustrate typographically the homicidal madness of the novel’s protagonist, Norman Bates.
The closest typeface we can find for the title lettering is Compacta, designed by Fred Lambert for Letraset in 1963.
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