After a post talking all about me and my own work, today I am going back to something I am much more comfortable with - oohing over beautiful stationery! I feel a little late to the paper party with this unboxing as this box actually came out in June but it took it’s time getting to me so I only received it a few days ago. July’s box is actually on it's way to me too now so I better get a move on and tell you all about box 16.
Branded with the theme of “dark botany”, box 16 was filled with ultra on-trend and atmospheric leafy patterns all designed by photographer and designer Susan Castillo. The box included an A5 linen notebook, a brass ruler, a greetings card and a risograph calendar print which altogether were worth £25.40 and cost £9.95 to subscriber - so a pretty good deal I think you'll agree. Obviously, £25 worth of stationery for a tenner is only really a good deal if it’s nice stuff but last month's collection really was something special.
The fickle design gods are always changing there mind and dreaming up what the most on trend motif of the moment is. Some trends stick around far too long in my opinion (I’m looking at you, everything pineapple themed) but others, such as the fresh botanical leaves trend that is everywhere right now are much more welcome in my eyes. There’s always the risk that following such a popular trend you can end up with clichéd designs that feel like everyone has seen before but with Susan Castillo on board there was no need to worry about the collection being anything less than utterly unique. Ohh Deer recently published an interview with Susan on the Papergang blog in which she talks about her process, inspirations and love for her cat Stephen. The whole interview is definitely worth a read and my favourite answer from Susan came when asked about how her creative process begins…
There can be a huge amount of individual elements for just one design, and each of them have to be carefully edited and cut-out ready for use. One of the most important aspect to my work is that the initial shots are almost exactly shot how they will be seen in the final design, which also includes the background colour.
This attention to detail and perfectionism when it comes to colour have exquisite results. The dark plummy-purple foliage on the notebook is offset so well by the patterns olive-grey backdrop and there just something pleasing about the fact that the deep-leaves in the birthday card’s pattern are true to life. Add in some classic Ohh Deer design details like metallic foiling and a classy ribbon and you have quite possibly my favourite Papergang box to date.
Something I have enjoyed seeing from the Papergang team as the subscription service has progressed (we are now into it’s second year) is the cool extra features it has added in along the way. From the free printable calendars and desktop backgrounds to their work with Tree Aid (fun fact: for each 4 Papergang boxes sold, 1 tree is planted), I think it says a lot about Ohh Deer as a company that as their popularity grows they don’t just strive to keep working with the same formula but also to give back and reward loyalty.
Choosing a favourite item from this box would be too hard this month as I love them all too much but my favourite thing about the collection as a whole it actually it’s slight Autumnal feel. Probably because they are based in seasonless Britian, Ohh Deer don’t conform to the "brights in Summer and darks in Winter" design philosophy and for me this Autumnal collection’s timing is perfect. I am not much of a Summer person anyway but this year - as I had an adventurous Spring, am excited to start art school in the Autumn and just bloody love Winer - it just feels like a drag. Susan’s designs have made me even more excited for the cooler months and I can’t wait to use them when I start my course in a few months time!
Disclaimer: This box was kindly gifted to my be the generous people at Ohh Deer but all opinions are 100% my own.