Viktor Ivanov attended Moscow Secondary Professional Art School from 1926 to 1929. In 1928, he took classes at a studio of Dmitrii Kardovskii and, from 1929 to 1933, he continued his education at the Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture affiliated with the Russian Academy of Arts in Leningrad. Viktor Ivanov began to work for the central publishing house Ogiz-Izogiz in 1931 where he achieved acclaim as a graphic designer with a concentration in poster development. Ivanov began to exhibit professionally in 1934. He contributed to the TASS (Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union) Studios between 1941 and 1943 and created approximately nineteen posters for that entity.
The Krasnii Proletarii Workshop originated under the ownership of Ivan Kushnerev, a Russian entrepreneur who founded the Kushnerev & Company Printing Shop in 1869 in Moscow. When Kushnerev died in 1896, his printing operation was one of the largest in Imperial Russia. In 1919, the printer was nationalized by the Soviets and consigned to the Printing Section of the Moscow Economic Council (MSNKh). Around 1920, it was placed under the Poligrafkiniga (Book and Magazine Printing) Trust and was given the name 3rd State Typolithography Workshop. By 1921, it became the 20th State Typolithography Workshop, and later it was named the 3rd Krasnii Proletarii Book Printing Plant when its location (on Pimenovskaia Street) was changed to Krasnoproletarskaia (Red Proletarian) Street. In 1924, the 3rd Krasnii Proletarii was placed under the State Publishing House, Gosizdat. In the 1930s and into the 1950s; the printer served Partizdat / Gospolitizdat (State Publishing House of Political Literature), a foremost publisher of political literature and propaganda materials. The printer retained the Krasnii Proletarii moniker over the following decades even though its management varied under a series of state-owned trusts.
Iskusstvo was the Art Publishing House (A.K.A. Visual Arts Publishing) that was created in 1936 from Ogiz-Izogiz (State Art and Literature Publishing House). It disseminated books and journals dealing with graphic design and the fine arts, and it issued numerous posters. Since the Iskusstvo banner was part of the State Printing Works in Leningrad (St. Petersburg) and Moscow, its two main offices were located in those two cities.