Abram's working life began in the east end of London. He initially started working in his father's photographic studio. Here, he honed his skills with the aerograph, a tool that would define his early work. Aged 16, he enrolled at St Martin's School of Art but left disillusioned after only two terms. However, he continued to study life drawing at evening classes.
He had a four-year stint in a commercial art studio but was sacked for being too rebellious. His first freelance commission came from Frank Pick at London Transport. By the time he was called up for army service in 1940, 24 of his posters had been published.