Review: Papergang from Ohh Deer: May 2018

Papergang is a monthly stationery subscription box brought to you by Ohh Deer, which sells lovely illustrated stationery supplies. Who doesn’t enjoy stationary? Everyone should have a stash of attractive notebooks, tape, stickers etc. and Papergang is a great way to expand your collection!

Each month features a different artist and theme, and this month’s designs are from Hello!Lucky, a design brand started by two sisters. Let’s see what they’ve come up with!

Papergang Review May 2018

I love the little illustrations on this month’s box sleeve. I particularly like the tiger and cactus, they’re a bit different from what you normally see in this style of kawaii-type design.

The goodies inside are wrapped up in tissue. The bright pink is a great colour, and unwrapping it makes you feel like you’re opening a present!

Papergang Review May 2018

A5 Linen Notebook. The cover is fairly stiff but it bends.

Papergang Review May 2018

This is the pattern inside the covers. I was really hoping they were stickers, like the notebook in last month’s box, but no, it’s just decoration.

Papergang Review May 2018

The pages inside are lined, with ‘date’ at the top of every page, even though it’s listed as a notebook rather than a journal. This notebook/journal doesn’t lay flat (again unlike last month’s) so it was necessary to hold the pages open. This also made the cover bend, and it wouldn’t properly flatten out again. 

Papergang Review May 2018

Set of 3 Patches and 2 x Sticker Sheets. 

The stickers are very small, with little kawaii-style fruit faces. You can see the pears and the bananas on the box sleeve.

The patches are also relatively small, and again the patterns feature on the box sleeve. On the reverse side they have that iron-on glue. These patches are very thin, and I know from experience that glue of this type does not last very long. The little details, such as the leaves on the lemon, are so tiny that they would peel almost immediately. Also, unlike iron-on patches you can buy anywhere, these do not have a proper sewn border around the edge. Borders are essential for quality fabric patches, firstly so they can be easily sewn on (especially when the glue starts to inevitably wear off), and secondly, to stop the edges of the patch fraying. Unfortunately these patches are not good quality or practical.

Papergang Review May 2018

Greeting Card. This punny card has quite charming little cat illustrations. It’s blank inside, but obviously could only be used as a birthday card! There’s also the regular calendar sheet, which has the same motto as the notebook cover.

Papergang Review May 2018

Menu booklet and price list.

Papergang Review May 2018 Papergang Review May 2018

As usual, there’s an interview/blurb about the designer.

OK, I have to say I’m really disappointed. I adored the previous boxes and I’m surprised at the contrast between those and this one. So, apologies if this turns into a bit of a rant.

I’m afraid I simply don’t like the notebook. First of all, the cover is boring. Pale blue fabric, with nothing except a motto. The motto itself is one of those clichéd feelgood phrases you see everywhere. I don’t like my notebooks to dictate their usage, and so having ‘date’ printed on every page is not welcome. There are some fun designs on the inside covers, but you’re never going to actually see them. It would be nice if they were stickers, but they’re not. Not laying flat is a real nuisance too, as it bends the covers and makes it much more difficult to use. There is nothing special about this notebook at all. Stickers or a ribbon marker might have elevated it a little, but it looks like something I could find in TKMaxx for half the price (The RRP is £12.95. No chance.)  

As I said above, the patches are really poor quality. The RRP is £8.95, which is frankly ridiculous. Of all the designs featured on the box sleeve, they chose the three most conventional ones. The roller skate is OK, but a smiling heart and a smiling banana? Those are things you will see in endless ‘cutesy’ design ranges, not even slightly original. The colours are also not very nice; the heart is a rather dull red, not like the vibrant neon one on the sleeve. I have no idea what an actual adult would do with these, as they are really rather childish. Oh, and patches are not stationery. 

The stickers are also meh. Like I said, smiling fruit is hardly an inspired concept. Asian kawaii designs have been doing the same thing for years, both better and cheaper. 

The only thing I do like is the card. The illustrations are charming, and it would be a cute card for a cat lover. The pun itself is also not in the slightest bit original (Google ‘purrfect birthday’ for about a million versions) but at least the design has some personality.

One reason this is so disappointing is that the sleeve promised so much and the contents delivered so little. There was no sign of most of the little logos featured, and the main item, the notebook, is almost embarrassingly bland. The blurb in the menu booklet gives the impression of something vibrant and interesting, and yet everything in the box felt mediocre. There is nothing original about any of the designs, just variations on generic pictures that you can see everywhere from Paperchase to WH Smith. Even the ‘good vibes only’ motto has a million different versions (again, Google it).

I’ve looked at the Hello!Lucky website, and while the designs are just a little bit cutesy for my personal taste, they show a hell of a lot more visual interest and creativity than anything here. I don’t know if it was because the box was done in a rush, or they wanted to save their good designs for their own company, but this is really not their best work.

Scroll up to the picture of the inside cover of the notebook. Wouldn’t it have been great to have seen lots more like that?

Their featured motto may have been ‘good vibes only’ but I’m afraid this box gave me quite the reverse. I’m really looking forward to them going back to their usual high standards next month.

PS I really hate not liking things. I like opening things up and being happy. It is so rare that I write a bad review, and I really wish I liked this more. I have looked at an awful lot of previous Papergang boxes and I think they all look terrific, so I can only conclude that this is an aberration. I’m also aware that plenty of people will disagree with everything I’ve written, but hey, it’s just my opinion. Bring on a better June! (Especially because it’s my birthday.)


Thanks for reading! Click here to read more Papergang reviews!


Quick blurb and pricing from the website:

A monthly subscription costs £10.95 plus £2.95 UK P+P

Papergang is Ohh Deer’s way of expressing a deep rooted obsession with papery goodness.

Each month you will receive a box filled with brilliant stationery. The product selection will vary but will include the likes of: greeting cards, notebooks, desk accessories and art prints.

You will never get a repeat box; each month will be designed with an artist and a theme so all of your new accessories make a lovely family.

Almost all products will be exclusive to Papergang for a period of time before it goes on sale in Ohh Deer’s shop.









A different version of this review was first published on

2 thoughts on “Review: Papergang from Ohh Deer: May 2018

  1. Oh no. I came looking for spoilers as I wait and I am not going to be thrilled with this month’s delivery either. That notebook is so disappointing.

    Thanks for the review, anyway. Now I can reset my expectations.

    1. I know, it’s such a shame! The last two were so good, it’s a bit of a miss this month. But I’m hoping it’s a blip, the previous ones were lovely 💖

      Thank you for reading and commenting!

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