Boris Efimov (born Boris Efimovich Fridliand) revealed his creative industry at a young age, when in 1916, he produced a handmade school newspaper featuring his original drawings placed with the writings of his brother (and journalist to be) Mikhail Koltsov. Following a family move to Kharkov, Boris returned to Kiev in 1917 to study at the National Economic Institute and also to study under the law faculty at Kiev State University though he finished neither program. He published his first professional cartoons in the magazine Zritel' [Viewer] in 1918, a year before he was appointed secretary of the People's Commissariat of Military Affairs of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1920, he moved to Odessa to serve as head of the Department of Visual Agitation for UgROSTA (Southern Department of the Russian Telegraph Agency). Soon after, his cartoons appeared in such newspapers as Bolshevik, Kommunar [Commune Resident], and Visti [News]. Upon moving to Moscow in 1922, he began contributing to the newspapers Izvestiia [News], Pravda [Truth] and Trud [Labor], as well as the satirical magazines Chudak [Oddball] and Krokodil [Crocodile].
In 1928, Nikolai Andreevich Dolgorukov moved from his native Ekaterinburg to Moscow to attend VKhUTEIN (Higher State Artistic and Technical Institute). After that organization dissolved in 1930, Dolgorukov continued his studies at the Moscow Polygraphic Institute under the tutelage of artists Lev Bruni and Dimitri Moor. Dolgorukov's training was in illustrated political satire as well as in poster design, and each area became the main focus of his long career. After graduation, he collaborated with fellow poster artist Viktor Deni. The duo went on to design a host of iconic Soviet posters from the 1930s to the 1940s. Dolgorukov also created illustrations for prominent newspapers such as: Krasnaia Zvezda [Red Star] (1933), Pravda [Truth], (1934), Izvestia [News] (1949), and for journals including Proektor [Projector] (1932-1935), Sovetskii Soldat [Soviet Soldier] (1941) and Iskra [Spark] (1942). Dolgorukov produced a variety of well-known posters, such as Under the Banner of Lenin toward the Formation of a Classless Society (1932) and Five-Year Plan (co-authored with Deni in 1933). During World War II, Dolgorukov remained active as a graphic designer and a cartoonist producing a myriad of war-time posters including, We'll Sweep Away the Fascist Barbarians (1941) and The Enemy Will Not Have Mercy! He contributed two poster designs to the Soviet telegraph TASS Studio between the autumn of 1942 and the autumn of 1943.
The Leningrad Offset Printing Plant was located near Kronverkskaia and Mir Streets in Leningrad (St. Petersburg). Historically, the printer had roots in Imperial Russia as a large operation founded in 1881 by Theodore Kibbel (Fedor Fyodorovich Kibbel') until it was nationalized by the Soviets in 1917. After its initial nationalization, the printer's management (via a series of government-controlled printing trusts) and its name both changed over the decades until it ultimately became the Leningrad Offset Printing Plant in the spring of 1950.
The history of IzoGiz begins with the formation of Ogiz, the Association of the State Book and Magazine Publishers. In 1930, the Sovnarkom of the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic established Ogiz to centralize publishing under a monopoly in order to eliminate duplication of printed material, to streamline and control publishing production and its 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. The separation 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 1963, Izogiz was merged with the publishing house, "Soviet Artist" (Sovetskii khudozhnik).