Lance Hidy was born in 1946 and grew up in Portland, Oregon, where he learned italic handwriting at age 12 from a student of Lloyd Reynolds. He arranged a lecture for Prof. Reynolds in Cambridge, Massachusets, in 1976, and studied with him at the last Cannon Beach, Oregon, calligraphy workshop in 1977. He also was an art major at Yale (1964-1968), and studied privately with Leonard Baskin.
Hidy was co-founder of David R. Godine, Publisher in 1969, before starting his own design firm in 1973. He switched from books to posters and illustration in 1980, incorporating his love of printmaking with his training in letterforms. He was the art director of Harvard Business Review, and has designed three U. S. postage stamps. In addition to running his design and illustration studio, Hidy has lectured and written on design history, and teaches graphic design and illustration half-time at Northern Essex Community College in Haverhill, Massachusetts. He currently lives in Merrimac, Mass, USA. § Hidy designed the typeface Penumbra for Adobe Systems at the suggestion of Sumner Stone, who invited him to join Adobe's Type Advisory Board in 1987. Penumbra was issued in 1994 as a capitals-only, Multiple Master typeface with unlimited variants of weight and serif. When Adobe abandoned the Multiple Master technology, Penumbra was reissued in four styles: Sans Serif, Flare Serif, Half Serif, and Serif, and in four weights for each. The typeface was based on the Speedball pen lettering in Hidy's posters, with influence both from Greek geometric capitals, and the classical proportions of Roman inscriptions. Penumbra is one of very few serif titling designs with nearly monoweight strokes. Technical assistance in digitizing the letters was provided by Gino Lee.