Boris Alexandrovich Zelenskii began his artistic instruction in Leningrad. From 1925 to 1927 he attended the studios of Savelii Moiseevich Zeidenberg (Seidenberg) and continued at the studio of Konstantin Fyodorovich Yuon in Moscow from 1930 to 1932. Furthering his education at the Moscow Art School (1932 to 1933), he continued at Sergi Ivanovich Frolov’s workshop. He completed his education at the Kalinin School of Art in Moscow. Beginning in 1931, Zelenskii took an interest in graphic art. He initially perused a career in advertising creating brochures and posters for stores, tobacco products, bakeries and wineries. Those jobs helped develop his foundation as a professional designer. During the 1930s and 1940s, Zelenskii worked in industrial drawing creating logotypes and during this period it is when he ventured into the design of posters. Although he considered himself a poster artist, he also illustrated books for the publishing house Politizdat and contributed to the magazines Molodaya Gvardia [Young Guard], Iskra [Spark], Krokodil [Crocodile] and Sovetskiy Tsirk [Soviet Circus]. His work was exhibited at international exhibitions in London (1934) and in Vienna (1948). It was in Vienna where he was awarded a diploma for his poster for the 1947 film “Pirogov”. In 1957, the All-Union Book, Drawings and Posters Exhibition awarded Zelinskii for his 1956 poster of the film, “Othello”. This led to Zelinskii being elected a member of the Union of Artists. He defended poster art as an important medium and he constantly supported the recognition of the art throughout his career. Over the course of his professional life he designed an estimated 400 posters. A large collection of them are housed in the Russian State Library.
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.