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The Blue Pencil Story


Dr. Laura Hills
, the founder of Blue Pencil Institute, began her career as a writer and editor who had occasion to use a blue pencil in her work. Back then, a light blue pencil was used to show corrections to written copy. The color blue was used specifically because it didn't show in some lithographic and photographic processes. Dr. Hills would "blue pencil" galleys (strips) of typeset text for her articles and books to indicate to the printer which corrections, deletions, and improvements she wanted to make. The printer would then review the corrections, make the necessary changes, and the blue pencil markings would disappear in the final printing.

Dr. Hills named her institute for the blue pencil of her past for several reasons. The institute provides educational programs, learning tools, and one-on-one and team coaching to help career professionals improve themselves. But like the blue pencil of long ago, it does so behind the scenes and invisibly. The color blue also has meaning as it is the color most associated with inspiration and truth, two of Dr. Hills' core values. Dr. Hills also believed that the pencil, as one of the simplest communication tools, would stand as a symbol of the personalized human touch that Blue Pencil Institute provides to each of the career professionals it serves.

With the introduction of electronic editing using word processors and desktop publishing, literal blue pencils are rarely seen today. However, they still exist in metaphor. At Blue Pencil Institute, career professionals learn how to "blue pencil" their careers and their lives to move ahead, become more productive and effective, and find greater satisfaction in their work.


Learn more about our founder, Dr. Laura Hills

Learn more about our core values 




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