Sue O’Who



This project is in response to the I.S.T.D. (International Society of Typographic Design) brief ‘Mark My Words’. This brief required participants to research any word or group of words in the English language and trace their origin. The word I chose to was ‘fuck’.

Fully realised project including Concept
Development, Design, Research.

YEAR 2018

AWARD ISTD Membership

The concept for ‘Holy Fuck’ came from the very first known recording of the word fuck in the English language. Fuck was first recorded in 1431 in the poem ‘Flen Flyys’ which was about the monks in Ely, England who were discovered breaking one of their vows to god. They were found to be ‘fucking’ some of the wives in the village of Ely. The poet cyphered this into his poem ‘Flen Flyys’, and this became the very first recording of the word fuck. This use of cyphering became an element throughout this book with there being a code running throughout the book. The content is from the history and development of fuck in the English language, from the 1400s to the present day. The book has a contemporary twist referring back to bibles and dictionaries and modern-day sources.