Located just off the top of Leith Walk on East London Street, CMYK Design is a small office with a team of just seven (plus Ruby, the office Springer Spaniel!). Everyone was friendly… especially Ruby! CMYK Design mainly does magazine publications, but they also offer other services, including advertising sales, relaunch/redesign, editorial, and work for brochures and newsletters.

Throughout the course of the placement I was given a variety of tasks. I had the opportunity to work on three of CMYK Design’s publications: Scotland Outdoors magazine, Aurora magazine, and the College Valley newsletter. This helped me get a good sense of all the different things that CMYK Design does, from editorial and proofreading, to marketing and design. …I also got to learn about the database and mailing system that they use to make running the various publications and services they offer much more efficient.

Not only did my placement at CMYK Design allow me to see how a small publishing office works and gain useful skills, but it also gave me the opportunity to learn a lot more about Scotland. Indexing back issues of Scotland Outdoors magazine and researching outdoors events in Scotland for their online events calendar helped me get a better understand of Scotland’s geography. Each issue of Scotland Outdoors has an “Explore” section highlighting a different region, and I was able to research Shetland for the upcoming July/August issue – finding hotels, restaurants, and events that the issue’s readers might enjoy.

Another magazine that CMYK Design publishes is Aurora, which focuses on the airports of the highlands and islands of Scotland. I was tasked to take various press releases and use the information to write short feature articles for the Aurora website. It was definitely a challenge to make my writing more punchy and less formal than I had been used to with writing for my courses. I was also given a bit of proofreading experience for both Aurora and Scotland Outdoors. It was great coming in just before these were going to the printers and to have the chance to see them go from proofs to freshly printed mags!

Toward the end of my placement I was finally given the opportunity to do some design work. Using InDesign, I helped with the layout of the summer issue of the College Valley newsletter, which highlights what has happened throughout the valley over the past year and promotes their guesthouses and event venue facilities. Content for the newsletter was still coming in, so I can’t wait until it’s finished and off to the printers. It will be great to be able to hold in my hands something I helped in designing!

Overall, my placement at CMYK Design was a great experience. I’m glad I had the chance to help out and be a small part of the publications I had the opportunity to work on.