A big (Bright Red) birthday

At a certain point in life – let’s just call it early middle age – birthdays can feel somewhat understated.  With the exuberance of coming of age at 18 and 21, the growing up marker of 30 and the landmark 40 firmly under your belt (this writer’s certainly), personal celebrations get a little more routine.  At the same time, other people’s birthdays start to become far more interesting as they grow up or hit some of the milestones mentioned above.

As a founding Director of Bright Red Publishing, I was involved in the launch of the business in 2008 and have been busy helping to develop and drive the company forward since.

John, Alan and Richard

The rush of arrival, the faltering first few steps forward in the early years and then steady strides as the business took off.

A lot has changed in Scottish education since Bright Red arrived on the scene.  Standard Grades are no more; Intermediate 1 and Intermediate 2 gone too.  Highers and Advanced Highers have been roundly revamped and the Curriculum for Excellence permeates it all – from Primary One to Broad General Education and beyond.

Publishing and reading habits have changed too.  The blazing dawn of a digital era saw eBook sales boom.  E-readers, tablets and ever smarter phones are everywhere.  There isn’t a question that the internet cannot answer and, with the right technology, you can simply ask those questions in the comfort of your own home.  Want to know Madonna’s birthday?  Just ask Alexa.

Want to know Bright Red’s birthday?  We’re ten this year, can you believe!  Double digits – how did that happen?  Next month we celebrate the publication of our very first revision book for Higher Physics, which was launched at the Scottish Learning Festival in September 2008.  A good few more Higher and Standard Grade books followed.  Not to mention scores of Past Paper publications for the Scottish Qualification Authority. And then dozens of National 4, National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher guides as the new qualifications launched in 2013.

Bright Red has sold nearly one million books during the last ten years.  We have 60 titles in print and we are bringing through a lot more at the moment.  Our Digital Zone, also launched in 2013, has attracted 96,000 registrations, with an incredible one and a half million tests taken.  How did that happen?? We have also been lucky enough to work closely with Professor Bill Buchanan OBE at Edinburgh Napier University (and be supported by Scottish Enterprise) to develop a prototype for new assessment technology.

digital zone

Bright Red at ten is a birthday definitely worth celebrating.  We are all set for our birthday party next month and we are running a number of great competitions and giveaways to say thank you to the stalwart parents, students and teachers who have relied on our resources over the years.  We’ll be broadcasting our team’s top ten Bright Red picks on social media – from coffee shops to books and places to visit – and we’ll be giving away a huge hamper to the school that purchases the one millionth book sold!


At Bright Red, we are in an excellent position to build on all of our hard work over the last ten years.  From our new Course Books to bestselling Study Guides and from the Digital Zone to our developing digital technology, we blend creativity, innovation and excellent content to offer something really quite different to Scotland’s students and teachers.  We are ready for the new term and we are very much ready to celebrate!

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