Survey Graphic was a first published United States weekly magazine launched in 1920. From 1920 to 1932, it initially was published as a supplement to The Survey on Industrial Relations and later became an independent magazine in 33. SG consistently focused on political and sociological investigation and study of national and global social and economic issues. The scope of Scope was primarily to conduct serious research, but was later used to publish cartoons and articles dealing with a wide range of topics.
In the early years, most articles and cartoons appeared in The Survey Graphic. However, a shift in focus occurred as the magazine attempted to broaden its horizons. Some of the early issues discussed topics that were considered controversial by prominent figures at the time such as Louis Pasteur, Sir Alfred Wallace, and Sir Walter Ralegh. A notable illustration of this was a cartoon that represented a social scientist experiment on behalf of The Survey of African American Attitudes and Values which was published in the magazine. The cartoon demonstrated the prejudice and stereotyping that existed in the United States towards the African American race and society.
During the late nineteen twenties, the survey graphic underwent a period of drastic changes when publisher John Murray Anderson decided to take the magazine in a different direction. He brought in a number of renowned African American artists such as Arthur Ellis Meccian, Kenneth O’Dell, and Emile Zola to provide content. These artists produced content that was highly respected and greatly influenced the thinking of readers. This shift toward more color and cultural diversity reflected a new trend in American art and culture.
Throughout the late nineteen thirties, the magazine produced another highly successful issue which was known as “The New Negro.” This issue took the news from the social and political reporting and presented information about African Americans in a lighter light. This magazine also chronicled the progression of civil rights. This issue was notable for printing the first color picture in history of a black man on white. This image was by unknown artist Kenneth O’Dell.
The next important year after the first New Negro magazine produced a highly popular illustrated booklet for college students entitled “The Civil Rights Movement in the United States.” It showcased the work of many prominent Americans who were participating in the movement. The booklet came from the pen of thirty-two year old Emile Zola. Following the success of this publication the magazine became a great success and still exists today as a part of the Atlantic Monthly empire.
In 1931 “The New Negro” celebrated its six hundredth issue. This issue brought forth a much broader focus on race and ethnicity when it discussed topics such as prejudice and stereotyping. Along with the publication of “The New Negro,” three major African American cartoons were published in the same month, “Follow the Man,” “Caribbean Cruise” and “The Clique.” “Caribbean Cruise” was a very popular magazine for both black and white readers alike. This cartoon depicted a cruise cabin that was divided into three separate sections, each designated by a different colored traveler.
Following “The New Negro” was the ” Harlem Renaissance.” It was an issue devoted to discussing issues of social work in the African American community. The cartoon featured in this publication depicted three young women that were part of the famous “Afro-American” community. The issue also highlighted the importance of spiritualism among the African Americans in America. The cartoon was illustrated by Emile Zola.
Following the “harlem renaissance” were two other major Afro-American periodicals: “amines” and “ipation.” “Amitabula” was the first comic strip to feature an all black cast. This cartoon was later made into a motion picture, directed by Stanley Myers. It was later changed to “Blackeye” which starred Michael Douglas and Reese Witherspoon.
These Afro-American magazines reflected the lives and views of those in the communities that they traveled to. For example, “Amitabula” had a daily series of articles that featured articles that dealt with life in the areas visited by the black community. This helped those in the communities understand what was going on in the city. These articles were printed on colored paper with beautiful full color illustrations. From a historical perspective it was very helpful to educate the people about their past and their present.
There are many other survey graphic designs that have been created through the years. For example, the “colored pencil” survey graphic design was created by Will Harger during the early part of his career. His illustrations were very detailed and he was able to get the full picture by putting his mind into it. Another great illustration is the “hoodie survey graphic” by Arthurensing. This particular piece of artwork went on to become the basis for many of the Peanuts pieces of artwork that we are familiar with today.