Michael Harvey began his career as an engineering draftsman. Then he read Eric Gill's autobiography, which inspired him to become a lettercarver. From 1955 to 1961, he assisted Reynolds Stone, carving letters in stone, slate and wood. Since then he has designed and carved many inscriptions, including memorials in England's Westminister Abbey, Winchester and Canterbury cathedrals and the great frieze of artists' names in the Sainsbury Wing of the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square. He has also produced many carved and graphic works with the Scottish poet Ian Hamilton Finlay. In addition, Harvey has designed hundreds of book jackets for publishers in England and Holland. He was a visiting lecturer in the Department of Typography & Graphic Communication at the University of Reading in England.
Harvey was awarded the MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2001 New Years Honours List for Services to Art. He was a member of The Royal Mint Advisory Committee on the design of coins and medals and belongs to the Double Crown Club, a society of printers, typographers and publishers. He lives in Bridport Dorset, England with his wife, where he has his studio.
Harvey's typeface designs include Andreas®, Conga Brava®, Mezz®, Moonglow ™ and Studz® for Adobe Systems; Ellington® and Strayhorn® for Agfa Monotype Corporation; Unico® for the Dutch Type Library; and Aesop; Songlines; Balthasar; Braff; Fine Gothic; Marceta; Mentor; Mentor Sans; Mentor Italic; Tisdall Script and Zephyr for his own type foundry, Fine Fonts.
An author of several books on the lettering arts, in 2012 Harvey published an illustrated memoir, Andventures With Letters, that features his Adobe fonts among others, with drawings, carvings, book jackets and experiments.