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 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.