Mikhail Mikailovich Solov'ev was born in Moscow. In 1930 he graduated from the advanced courses of the A.Kh.R.R. (Association of Artists of Revolutionary Russia). While he began his professional career as a painter, from 1944 on, he exclusively designed posters. He was made a member of the Union of Soviet Artists in 1933. During the 1930s, Solov'ev worked together on posters and dioramas with the graphic designer Pavel Sokolov-Skalia.
The 1st Exemplary Typography Workshop was named in honor of Andrei Alexandrovich Zhdanov (1896-1948), a Soviet military leader and a senior member of the Politburo who died in 1948. Reportedly, Andrei Zhdanov controlled the atomic espionage division of the USSR and he was Josef Stalin's closest confidant.
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.