ABOUT OHH DEER
Hello from Ohh Deer HQ in Loughborough!
Crikey, it’s been a while since I summarised what we’re about! So I’m here to shed a bit of light on the team, and what we get up to behind the scenes!
Ohh Deer was founded by myself (Jamie Mitchell) and Mark Callaby in 2011, with the official launch of our website in the November of that year. Before Ohh Deer, Mark and I met at Kingston University (big-up Kingston!) where I was studying Architecture and Mark, Illustration. For a while I’d dreamed of creating a brand with gorgeous arty products (the kind of thing I’d like to buy), so in the evenings after working at our day jobs we beavered away developing the Ohh Deer blog. Slowly but surely we gained a following which gained momentum and not long after we started making our first products!
From the very beginning the aim for the brand was to be recognised as a platform for illustrators to find an audience for their work and showcase their designs. We started by working with 10 illustrators who we’d met online and learned quite early on that combining the talent of lots of artists meant we had strength in numbers; those who found us because they liked one illustrator might find others that they liked too - and so we grew! Ohh Deer has now worked with over 100 creative folk to create contemporary illustrated products and our clients include the likes of: Paperchase, Urban Outfitters, Waterstones, ASOS, Scribbler, John Lewis, Selfridges, Oliver Bonas, Foyles, Indigo and many more. Our bespoke collections for Urban Outfitters and ASOS form a large part of the design work we complete and we’ve also worked on bespoke collections for: Tate Galleries, Science Museum, The Whitney Museum, John Lewis & The Design Museum.
It’s fair to say Ohh Deer has changed a fair amount over the years, originally when people would try and describe us they’d say we were a ‘t-shirt company’ and we wanted to shake that idea because we were always more interested in greeting cards and stationery. Nowadays, (given that t-shirts are about as easy to buy on our website as a chocolate teapot in John Lewis), we believe we’ve achieved our brand mission and firmly stamped our identity as the go-to place for quirky stationery and illustrated paper goods.
Our social media feeds try to bring you a dose of creativity, funny content and of course our products and we’re proud to boast over half a million lovely followers worldwide! If you want more of an insight into mine and Mark’s lives (who am I kidding, our sausage dogs Finley and Scout are the real stars) check out our Insta stories!
One of the things that has remained the same is our desire to produce as much as possible in the UK, which I know annoys some people because they’re wondering why some products are on the pricey side. We try to remain as competitive as possible but we really are looking to put out the best quality products and sometimes that costs a little extra.
The Papergang is a particular highlight of ours, if you’re not familiar, it’s our monthly stationery subscription which you should definitely be signed up to! Each month we work with a different artist to produce a selection of desk accessories that give you enough variety but the same quality you expect from our products! We’ve recently teamed up with Tree Aid and for every 4 boxes sold we’ll be planting a tree! Sustainability is something we’re really passionate about and in this case these trees can be monetised to help communities in Africa with a source of income. If you want to find out more about the Papergang and become a Papergangster you can click HERE.
Frequently asked questions
Why did you call the company Ohh Deer?
Unfortunately there’s not a weird / funny story behind the title. When you start a company you try and find a name that encompasses the vision for the product or service. We had a list and being pragmatic about it we settled on Ohh Deer because we could get the .com domain! If however you’re a fan of Life of Pi the other answer would be: we rode on a boat with a tiger across the Atlantic, tripped on a log on the carnivorous island, swore a bit and said ‘Ohh Deer’, and we decided if we ever made a stationery and greetings company it’d be a great name.
How do you pick your artists?
The answer to that is simple: there is no set way! We host public competitions several times a year, which is when we add the largest number of people to the brand at any one time. Our competitions are always exciting and usually contain a brief where we’d ask to see what ideas you have. We accept submissions through [email protected] – please attach examples of your work or a link to a portfolio. Of course we also just spot people out in the wild that we want to work with!
Do you have physical shops?
We decided to open two shops, one in my hometown (Loughborough) and the other in Mark’s (Ipswich).
Loughborough Shop Address: 3-6 The Rushes, Loughborough, LE11 5BE.
Ipswich Shop Address: 24 Thoroughfare, Ipswich, IP1 1BY.