On 18 November 2020, the Organisation of Educational Cooperation (OEC) initiated a world-wide international design emblem contest during which it invited youth from OEC’s Founding States to design and conceptualise OEC’s future emblem. On 11 January 2021, the OEC announced that the submission of Mr. Samuel Ocha Ode, a graphic designer from Nigeria, was selected as OEC’s future emblem.
In commemoration of the first anniversary of OEC’s establishment and the proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Balanced and Inclusive Education (UDBIE), OEC invited the young Nigerian graphic designer to visit OEC’s provisional headquarters in Djibouti and to meet with OEC’s Secretary-General-elect, H.E. Manssour Bin Mussallam.
On this occasion, OEC’s Communications Department had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Ode on his accomplishment and learn more about his future commitments as a graphic designer:
OEC: Among hundreds of submissions that the OEC received from youth worldwide for the design and conceptualization of its future emblem, the Preparatory Committee unanimously chose your submission as the Organisation’s emblem. What was your immediate reaction when you were informed by OEC’s Secretary-General-elect about the Preparatory Committee’s decision?
Mr. Ode: I was elated, I never expected my entry would be selected, knowing there will be lot of entries from the broad spectrum of the creative design community. The award really means a lot to me at this point in my life.
OEC: Every graphic designer has a specific way of channeling their creativity into designing emblems that represents the founding values and principles of organisations. What influenced and drew your inspiration to design OEC’s emblem, combining different elements such as the UDBIE, the Global South, the terra cota colour and the leaves?
Mr. Ode: I spent quality time studying the OEC’s Constitutive Charter, and the design brief, and carefully understanding the principles and values of OEC and also studying prominent NGO’s emblems as case studies. So, I got inspired to creatively illustrate the idea of the acronym (OEC) making it firm, which is to say OEC is here to make a difference and channel a new course around the nations of the global South. Naturally, coffee is cultivated and grown in some of the nations of the global South therefore, the floral shape symbolizes coffee leaves. It also represents peace and wellness. The terracotta color is the color of social communication and optimism.
OEC: In commemoration of the first anniversary of OEC’s establishment and UDBIE’s proclamation, you were invited to partake in an international conference held at the People’s Palace in Djibouti during which the OEC officially unveiled its flag and anthem. What does the emblem of the OEC represent to you?
Mr. Ode: The emblem of the OEC represents a beacon of hope and success. Realizing the founding principles contained within the UDBIE in Member States, especially in my country, Nigeria, where the educational sector has a wide gap to fill, setting up national policy and institutionalizing educational initiatives that are relevant to the times we are in.