Dmitrii Stakhievich Moor (birth surname Orlov) was born into the family of a mining engineer and did not receive formal artistic education. After moving to Moscow in 1898, and between 1902 and 1906, he actively participated in the city’s revolutionary movement, specifically taking part in the failed 1905 Revolution. While working at the Anatolii Mamontov printing shop, he submitted his drawings to periodicals. In 1908, he began to publish his cartoons in satirical journals, namely in Budil'nik [Alarm Clock]. While designing for Budil'nik, he adopted the pseudonym Moor deriving this name of the protagonist in Friedrich Schiller's play The Robbers (1781). During the early 1900s, Moor’s characteristic graphic style emerged. It was defined by a preference for black and white ink drawing, often punctuated with color accents. In 1910, Moor attended the studio of Petr Ivanovich Kelin, a Russian visual artist, but he never finished his studies. After the October Revolution of 1917, Moor worked as a graphic designer for such satirical magazines as Bezbozhnik u stanka [Atheist at the Workbench] (1923-1928), Krokodil [Crocodile] (from 1922), and at Daesh’ [Give] while creating caricatures for the leading Soviet newspaper Pravda. In 1918, he designed decorations for Moscow’s Red Square May Day festivities. Between 1919 and 1920, he produced posters for the Revvoensovet [Revolutionary Military Council]. Moor was famous for his revolutionary posters. His stark-looking poster Pomogi! [Help!] (1920) became a canonical image representing the plight of the starving Russian population during the Russian Civil War. From 1922 to 1930, Moor taught at VKhUTEMAS [Higher Art and Technical Studios] and from 1930 to 1932, he taught at the Moscow Polygraphic Institute. He joined the artistic association October in 1928, staying its member until the group disbanded in 1932. That year, he was awarded the title of Honored Worker of Arts of the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic. From 1932 to 1941, Moor worked at Izogiz State Publishing House. During World War II, he was evacuated to Samarkand, Uzbekistan where he continued to produce posters, drawings, and illustrations for the war effort.
The 1st State Typo-lithography Workshop began as the Sharapov-Sytin Partnership in the era before the Russian Revolution. Ivan Dmitrievich Sytin (1851-1934) was the son of a peasant from the Kostroma region northeast of Moscow. In the 1860s, Sytin worked in Moscow as an apprentice and then as the manager for a printing shop owned by Peter Nikolaevich Sharapov. In 1879, Sytin opened his own printing shop in Moscow using a single press. By the start of the 20th century his shop (at Valovaia and Piatnitskaia streets) became the largest private printing company in tsarist Russia.
Gosizdat was established in Moscow in May 1919 via the merger of the publishing houses of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee, the Moscow Soviet, the Petrograd (St. Petersburg) Soviet, the Moscow Communist, the People's Commissariat of the RSFSR, and others. It was the first large-scale, state-controlled publisher formed for the purpose of joining the nation's printing and publishing entities under a single institution. While Gosizdat existed somewhat independent of the government, by 1930 it served as the base of the state publishing conglomerate OGIZ (Association of State Publishing Houses), an entity that united Soviet publishing houses under total state control.