Sandor Ek was born Alex Keil in a small village in the Austro Hungarian Empire. He worked as a graphic artist and poster designer in his native Hungary but also worked and lived in Austria, Germany and in the Soviet Union during periods of his life. Early-on, Ek became a member of the Hungarian Communist Party at a young age. He studied at arts schools run by Béla Uitz, a Hungarian painter and communist activist, and by József Nemes-Lampérth, a Hungarian artist and proponent of the avant-garde.
Szikra Printing House was located at 10 Honvéd Street in Budapest, Hungary. It was the main printer for literature and propaganda produced by the Hungarian Communist Party.