Gustav Klutsis is considered the foremost artist of Soviet photomontage. Born near the small town of Ruiena, Latvia when that nation was part of the Russian Empire, Klutsis attended the State Art School in Riga from 1913 to 1915 and moved to Petrograd (St. Petersburg) during the period immediately prior to the October Revolution. Klutsis took part in a volunteer rifle regiment that helped overturn the Tsarist regime during the revolution. After the revolution, he continued his studies in Petrograd at the School of Drawing for the Society for the Encouragement of the Arts.
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.
Ogiz was the Association of the State Book and Magazine Publishers. Its main offices were located in Moscow and in Leningrad. The Sovnarkom of the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic established Ogiz in 1930 to centralize publishing activities under a state monopoly in order to eliminate duplication of printed material, streamline and control publishing production and output, and to create a base for marketing books, training and technical manuals. In 1931, the Central Committee of the USSR ordered certain publications be separated from Ogiz. This principally affected technical manuals and propaganda material issued by the publisher. For example, posters, art magazines and artistic books were placed under Izogiz (Izobrazitel'noe iskusstvo), the fine arts section of Ogiz. In 1949, Ogiz was reorganized and merged into Glavpoligrafizdat, the Main Administration for Matters of the Polygraphic Industry, Publishing and Book Selling. In 1953, Glavpoligrafizdat was reorganized and renamed, Glavizdat. Thereafter, the publishing, printing and bookselling monopoly in the USSR was separated into three distinct divisions. In 1963, Izogiz was merged with the publishing house, "Soviet Artist" (Sovetskii khudozhnik).