Psycho Girlfriend | Skillshare Projects

Tabitha Kerbabian

Letterer & Graphic Designer



Psycho Girlfriend

"Oh my god, I could be a psycho girlfriend! BABE, I really want to be a psycho girlfriend."
- overheard at Party City in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (10/30/15, young Asian couple, girl talking to her boyfriend about costume ideas the night before Halloween around 8:30pm)

I haven't overheard any deep quotes, but chose to go with a funny one that I heard when shopping for last-minute elements for a Halloween costume at Party City. The best part about this quote was that the girl already sounded like a psycho girlfriend when she said it, though I'm sure she didn't intend to!



I had some really interesting and unexpected search results on Designspiration (top right) that reminded me of Saul Bass posters (bottom left). This inspiration board mixes things I found on Designspiration with search results from Google Images. The terms I searched were: Calgary, psycho girlfriend, Halloween, and Saul Bass.

This was a really fun visual research exercise that changed the direction I would have gone in otherwise.



The first concept that came to mind was a plastic costume knife (something you could find at Party City) and lettering resembling spots of costume blood (I imagine it being an unrealistic shade of red, maybe on the pink side).


The quote was overheard near the wig section at Party City, so I played around with framing softer, more whimsical-toned lettering with strands of hair.


This concept was inspired more by the Saul Bass posters, but I'm not happy with the slight contrast in the weight of the lettering -- I think it needs to be heavier and one solid weight.


I pulled this creepy eye from my inspiration board. It reminds me of the Evil Eye. On the left of this page, you can see that I lettered the quote justified to a rectangle shape.


Inked versions of the wig hair and Saul Bass poster concepts. Clearly didn't leave enough room for that poor 'D', so I drew it above instead... the computer can fix almost anything. :)

I like the evil eye concept best, but I'm refining the hair and movie poster concepts as well to see what happens.



I used the Image Trace tool in Illustrator to convert my inked+scanned images to vector form.


I added colour and arranged the designs from low to high emotional intensity. I made little adjustments to the kerning and scale of the letters in each image.

Thanks to some stellar resources I bought through Design Cuts over the past few months, I was able to add halftone texture, torn paper frames, and folded paper overlays to make these designs look like real posters.


Halftone textures from Design Spoon.


Torn paper frames from Design Spoon.




Folded paper overlays from Sparkle Stock.

The orange design is still my favourite, but I like how the red colour turned out. Overall, I'm happy with the outcome and I had a lot of fun with this project.

Feedback is welcome!


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