Independent Publisher of Course Books and Study Guides

Bright Red Publishing is a multi award winning independent publishing company which develops high quality Study Guides for the new National 4, National 5, CfE Higher and CfE Advanced Higher qualifications and also S1 to S3 (BGE) courses.  We have collaborated with Edinburgh Napier University to create our unique online Digital Zone to further support Scotland’s students and teachers during this time of immense educational change.

Since the start of the Bright Red journey in 2008, we have:

  • Been named UK Educational Publishing Company of the Year at the Independent Publishing Awards in 2010 and 2011
  • Been shortlisted for the UK Independent Publisher of the Year Award at the Bookseller Industry Awards in 2011 and 2014.
  • Won the Local Business Accelerator: Edinburgh award in June 2013
  • Been Highly Commended at both The Bookseller Industry Awards and the Interface Excellence Awards in 2014.
  • Won the Stationers’ Company Innovation Excellence Award for our online Digital Zone in 2014.

Our small team of six staff manage all aspects of the business from our office in the west end of Edinburgh and warehouse in Fife. We have worked hard to grow our list of BGE, National 4 and National 5, CfE Higher and Advanced Higher guides. 


In addition to our great Study Guides for the new exams, our ground breaking online Digital Zone, developed in association with Edinburgh Napier University, has attracted nearly 100,000 registered users to date. The innovative Digital Zone offers a broad range of online supporting resources to students approaching their National 5, CfE Higher and CfE Advanced Higher qualifications. The content, links, videos and games integrate completely with our best-selling Study Guides and the pioneering online tests allow students to check their progress and identify problem areas. 

We are really proud of what we have achieved so far and we all enjoy spending our days developing the very best study material possible for Scottish students and teachers. The great feedback we receive on our books and the Digital Zone makes it all worthwhile! If you want to find out a bit more about the faces behind the Bright Red, have a look at our biographies!



John MacPherson, Director

Meandering through too many years in higher education, John accidentally fell into the world of publishing at the start of the millennium.  After five years working at the educational publishing coalface, he found himself in the role of Commissioning Editor and ready to take on something a bit more demanding.  With global financial meltdown on the horizon in late 2007, he decided the timing was perfect to start an exciting new publishing company!  John is involved in all aspects of the business but probably busiest when commissioning new titles and developing digital products.

John lives in rural Fife, loves chopping wood and running up hills and can't wait to get a dog. 

Alan Grierson, Director

After a short, unfulfilling stint in banking, Alan studied Publishing at Edinburgh Napier University before embarking on a much more rewarding career in the world of books. First port of call was the literary hotspot of Edinburgh’s new town and a brief sojourn amongst the shelves of the much missed Stockbridge bookshop. Before long, the bright lights of London town and a job with the venerable Butterworth & Co tempted Alan southwards. Alan became well versed in all things editorial and production and he humbly accepted the promotions that came his way. After a decade of toiling in the big smoke, Alan followed his heart and went home to be with his girl from the north country!

They are now happily married with two children and a succession of dwarf Russian hamsters, and live on the edge of the Pentland hills. When not working or spending time with his family, Alan likes to don a fancy shirt and socialise with pals or join his fellow Tartan Army footsoldiers on their high jinks around Europe.

Caleb Rutherford, Creative Director

A splendid round trip: Finger painting in Turnhouse, potato print in Aden, paper collage in Gloucester, blow painting in Cyprus, paper mache in Musselburgh, some serious drawing in Dunblane, colourful etching in Edinburgh, nurturing screen printing techniques in Northampton and then back to Edinburgh to dive into the working world of art and design. 


Inspiration, passion, a love of colour and the odd doodle or two are the staples which keep me going through juggling deadlines, late nights (and there have been many), crazy design briefs and fortunately a full work load which encompasses sectors such as retail, private and public organisations... and of course publishing. Passionate about books in all their forms, I have even taken up book binding... who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks.

Jo Fuller, Marketing Executive

Jo Fuller, Marketing Executive

Since graduating from the University of Bristol in 2015, Joanna spent two years working both in America and in a school in leafy Surrey before deciding to take a job in marketing for a London publishing house.

After a while of bustling London life, she followed her heart up to Edinburgh and took a job at Bright Red Publishing as a Marketing Executive, where she can be found creating exciting campaigns and drinking copious amounts of tea.

She is a keen baker, fashion enthusiastic and avid book reader.