We Congratulate the Winners of the Publishing Prize

Proudly we announce that we came third in the Publishing Prize and also wish to congratulate the winners in the same category as we competed in, KF and Volvo Car Group.

In September we announced that our Annual Report had been nominated for The Publishing Prize, an annual juried contest for films, websites, newspapers, magazines, books and other printed matter in English, Norwegian or Swedish. We have particiated before and been nominated 3 times, winner 2 times as well as been rewarded with an extraordinary prize for the design and visual content.

Over the years, we have collaborated with the art director Andrew Cowie, who has been our loyal companion and guide in having the work of various artists decorate our financial result. Andrew has, and are still, challenging us with ideas and we are greatly impressed by his versatility and design creativity. This year, we believe that Andrew has done something really extraordinary – we are featuring a very characteristic French entrepreneur in art, named Jean-Claude Floch.

Floc’h has created numerous books, comic books and commercial illustrations in the typical style ligne Claire. In fact, we found this artist so very special and interesting so we decided to meet him in person to find out more about him. We are happy to share the memorable moments we had visiting Floc’h and invite you to read the story.

In image from left to right: Fredrik Anderson, CEO CellMark, Jean-Claude Floch, Artist and Andrew Cowie, Art Director. C52.

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CellMark Japan 50 years Anniversary


In 1967, after the post-war reconstruction period, the company was originally established in Tokyo to introduce industrial products of French origin into Japan. Over the years, the company has managed to navigate and quickly adapt to the prevailing circumstances and the challenges of the surrounding world and has constructively evolved with oil crisis, Plaza accord, and Asian currency crisis among others. Today, CellMark Japan has establish a stable position and strive to earn and maintain the market’s confidence and respect. We value our relationships highly and proudly celebrate our 50 years anniversary this year.  It has been achievable entirely thanks to continuous support from all our valuable customers over the years.

In the words of Japanese classical literature, “Hojoki”, it is said “The flow of the river is ceaseless and its water is never the same.” I believe, from long experience, that people know that life never stay the same and everything will change. Sometimes change brings you hard test and sometimes change trains you to be stronger. Even after 50 years, CellMark Japan promise we will keep growing powerfully.

We are developing new business fields in paper related products, food ingredients, bio-energy, and medical devices, utilizing various experiences we learnt over long time working with industrial products in the areas of Metals and Chemicals. We look forward to working with new and existing partners and are highly grateful for and appreciate your continuous support.


October, 2017
Masaru Sakamoto
Representative Director of CellMark Japan


History of CellMark Japan




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セルマーク・ジャパン株式会社 創立50 周年


1967 年高度成長期の只中、フランスの鉱工業製品を日本に紹介する

セルマーク・ジャパン株式会社として、今年創立50 周年を迎える

ゆく河の流れはは絶えずして、しかももとの水にあらず。」( 方丈記

50 年の歳月を経て私たちは更に変化を乗り越え、セルマーク・グルー

申し上げます 。

2017 年10 月吉日
代表取締役 坂本 勝







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Nominated for the Publishing Prize

CellMark’s Annual Report has been nominated for The Publishing Prize, an annual juried contest for films, websites, newspapers, magazines, books and other printed matter in English, Norwegian or Swedish. We have particiated before and been nominated 3 times, winner 2 times as well as been rewarded with an extraordinary prize for the design and visual content.

In 1984, when CellMark was founded, the company was marketed as “The New Alternative”. The ambition was that the company would represent something entirely innovative as a marketing organization for the industry. The presentation of our financial result was also to be marked by new ideas. Having the work of various artists decorate the otherwise mundane financial and test material was consistent with CellMark’s innovative way of thinking and enabling representatives from entirely different fields of creativity to introduce their art forms.

Over the years, we have collaborated with the art director Andrew Cowie, who has been our loyal companion and guide on this exploration tour. Andrew has, and are still, challenging us with ideas and we are greatly impressed by his versatility and design creativity. This year, we believe that Andrew has done something really extraordinary – we are featuring a very characteristic French entrepreneur in art, named Jean-Claude Floch.

Floc’h has created numerous books, comic books and commercial illustrations in the typical style ligne Claire. In fact, we found this artist so very special and interesting so we decided to meet him in person to find out more about him. We are happy to share the memorable moments we had visiting Floc’h and invite you to read the story.


About the Publizing Prize, from their website…

“The Publishing Prize, which is independent of industry organizations, is a comprehensive communication contest. It embraces most established forms of communication. The PP is in three categories: Print, Website and Film.

The jury consists of active communicators such as photographers, graphic designers, film producers, journalists and editors. They examine, evaluate and compare the entries, which are judged using a number of criteria. The judging criteria and the jury’s ranking points are public.

Competitors (and winners) in The Publishing Prize have encompassed both large and small players in the industry. Entries include in-house productions on limited budgets as well as those from established creative agencies and publishers.

Winners of The Publishing Prize 2017 will be made public at the prize ceremony in Stockholm on October 23rd. Each winner receives the jury’s citation, a statuette and a certificate. All nominees will receive a certificate, and a booklet which shows how the jury has scored the nominated entries. The winners will be announced in international and national press releases, in Publishing Prize News and on the website.”

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Creating Space for Innovation is Vital

A couple of months ago Marcus Wahlberg, coordinating the Taskforce for business development at CellMark, had the great pleasure of discussing innovation with Peet van Biljon, Senior Advisor at Innovation 360 Group and former Global Innovation Practice Manager at McKinsey & Company, during a workshop on innovation that CellMark sponsored in Washington, D.C. As Peet points out, it’s important to strike a balance between focusing on today’s efficient operations and the strategic decisions and investments for tomorrow. It’s fascinating how we build efficiencies into our organizations, and the better we build, the more rigid we become.

However, innovation is rarely efficient, yet it’s vital for the very survival of a firm. Thus, creating a space for innovation is vital. It’s of course difficult,  but difficult is good, because few can handle it, and the rewards for the ones that can are great. Find our more ont he topic in this video.




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Top Management Engage for Higher Performing Organizations and a Better World

A truly successful firm is not only characterized by its ability to make money, be sustainable or engage its people, but by its ability to renew itself ahead of the competition. On June 29, top management team members from CellMark, Systembolaget, Apoteket and Bilprovningen engaged with the Center for Higher Ambition Leadership Europe to discuss tools and methods for transformation and change, and to discuss challenges based on findings and from projects on trust, engagement and performance in three of the partner companies.

Companies with higher ambitions beyond only making money attract resources and people, breed engagement and trust, and are more effective, entrepreneurial and profitable.

CHL Europe’s purpose is to help the leaders in such companies build higher performing organizations and a better world, by using and developing world leading knowledge and practice.

Most companies fail in their renewal efforts, often because they lack the necessary trust and engagement of their people. Tobias Fredberg, professor in Organization renewal at Chalmers University introduced a set of ideas of how these issues can be handled in organizations. Three of the partner companies had engaged with people from CHLE in a study on trust, engagement and performance in their respective organizations. A substantial part of the day was dedicated to discussing how to create a basis of positive change in a company –  trust from management, passion for the organization, and fulfillment of goals such as financial targets, innovation and quality.

After lunch Lena Larsson, CEO of BB-Gruppen, and previous CEO of Stampen Local Media, gave an appreciated and inspiring presentation about her reflections on methods for driving transformation.

In connection to Lena’s lecture, Flemming Norrgren (professor in project management) introduced The Strategic Fitness Process (SFP), a change architecture that allows organizations to combine speed and empowerment when managing transformations. Tobias Fredberg discussed a method for driving fast change in so-called “breakthrough projects” that have been researched by the CHLE team.

The SFP was created by two of the Center’s founders – Michael Beer and Russell Eisenstat. It has been used in hundreds of firms all over the world. It creates a framework that helps firms to clarify the few, real priorities that will move the system, align the leadership system around the direction, create engagement for change through a two-way communication process (Fish bowl) where truth can speak to power but also offers great opportunities for leadership teams and individual talent to develop their change leadership capabilities. Systembolaget which recently has done a SFP shared their experiences.


“It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage, than the creation of a new system. For the initiator has the enmity of all who would profit by the preservation of the old institutions and merely lukewarm defenders in those who would gain by the new ones. (Macchiavelli 1513)”


The Partner Day became a rewarding meeting with exciting discussions and interesting reasoning. Focused on acting now and how, not when or if, showed that all the Partners, irrespective of line of Business made a great exchange of experiences.

CHLE Next steps will be meetings with each Transformation partner in August. CEO Summit in Zurich November 8-9. 2018 will begin with a CEO Summit in Boston January 5-6, followed by CHRO Summit in March and closing the Partner year with a TMT Meeting in June.

The participating partners were Systembolaget, CellMark, Apoteket and Bilprovningen.



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In search of time remaining

À la recherche du temps restant
In search of time remaining

MADAME LA CONCIERGE PUTS OUT HER HEAD AND DEMANDS TO KNOW what we are doing in her house with a camera at the ready? We explain our intentions. She nods a restrained “bienvenue” and closes the window of her combined home and workplace.

One floor up, Floc’h opens the door and throws out his arms. His welcome is almost overwhelming. We enter his combined home and workplace. The few steps through the hallway is like traveling in a time machine. In fact, it takes a while before we can identify one single contemporary item among the antique furniture, books, rugs, paintings and artifacts that surround us in the pleasant semi-darkness where even the infiltrating rays of sun become an accent in the decor.

Not even the most skilled set decorator could create a more suitable stage design for the story of Floc’h. The entire milieu is like a wide open window into the dreamworld that is his reality. This is the home of a man who seems to have parted ways with both the present and everyday life, for the sake of freedom and art. Or just because it’s fun and that he can do it? You can never be completely sure in the company of Floc’h.

When his obituary was published in 2007 in the peculiar book ”Une vie de rêve: Fragments d’une autobiographie idéale”, it claimed that he was over 2000 years old when he died on the 4th May 2046. In the text he was described by his friend, the writer Olivia Sturgess as “quite his own person and truly the architect of his own destiny”, much thanks to his classical training under the wings and patronage of Greek philosopher Plato. The fictional obituary also emphasizes his pronounced fondness for Britain. ”

A seemingly indefatigable globetrotter, Floc’h was most at home in Paris and Great Britain, a country without which, he often sighed, “life would not be worth living”.

Back in the real world: after a short handover of gifts where both the gin bottle and the silk handkerchief seem to be to his liking, Floc’h reads a passage from a book in which he is described like this:

“The Parisian illustrator Floc’h was born in 1953. Old enough to have experienced the end of modernity and be a little wistful. Immaculately dressed in a suit that echoes the 1930’s without stooping to fancy dress, he claims to have stopped wearing jeans after a bad LSD trip…”

Floc’h pauses and draws his breath before, with the broadest of smiles, delivering his punch line:

“So if you want to terminate our rendezvous right now, it’s alright with me!”


Roaring laughter rolls around the room. The atmosphere is established. The eccentric exhibitionist excels and we are excited. But hungry. We’ll go out for lunch. Floc’h has booked a table and we’ll leave in a minute, but first we must talk a bit more about books that give meaning to life and about how time can not be stopped even with old-fashioned suits and entertaining anecdotes.

“I had my birthday last Sunday. It feels quite strange to be 63 years old, but I would never want to return to the person I was yesterday. This time of life is very good. Too bad it will end so badly. Can I tell you a little story? One of the great advantages of being old is all the stories you can tell …”

Floc’h begins to tell his story. It begins with actor Tony Curtis stepping into the shower in a cheap motel but something happens and the story is placed on the back burner while we leave the flat to go for lunch.

Sunrays flood the streets where we meander between honking cars and though we certainly are in a hurry for lunch, here is the world famous Deyrolle with their stuffed animals and amazing collections of natural wonders so we run inside where lions and giraffes and unicorns stare at us with glazed eyes and now we are actually in such a hurry that Floc’h steps off the sidewalk and strides along in the middle of the street with his trouser legs flapping and the boyish fringe flying and finally we arrive and step into yet another pocket of elapsed time where a new story begins.

We are at Ladurée, an equally legendary, ultra-parisian combination of bakery, pastry shop and restaurant. Elegant is a suitable description. We are shown to our chambre separée upstairs and order food and wine. Floc’h asks the waiter to turn off the music and instead we listen to his story about Madeleine Castaing, the teenage bride who became the silent film star who became the patron and friend to all major cultural profiles of the time: Erik Satie, Chaim Soutine, Pablo Picasso, Jean Cocteau and Henry Miller.

“Look here,” he says, letting his arm sweep across the room where the beautiful carpet is designed by Madeleine Castaing in the style that made her a legend in the international world of interior design. She actually lived one floor up from where we are sitting, and there is no doubt that Floc’h is emotionally moved by the whole context. “Look at this incredibly delicious little chair”. There is no doubt about his love affair with culture, with the beautiful and the artistic. That’s why he lives.

But he would never call himself an artist. It would probably be both trite and pretentious, misleading.

“Marlene Dietrich and Gary Cooper were amazing at portraying different people through themselves. I’m very good at playing Floc’h. We are all here on this earth to do something, and it’s up to you to discover what your true role is. Me, I am on earth to be Floc’h. My job is to be Floc’h.” He will hardly get fired.

In the role of Floc’h, he has since 1975 created more than 30 books, sometimes in cooperation with like-minded people such as Jean-Luc Fromental and François Rivière, numerous comic books and hundreds of commercial illustrations, all in the typical style known as ligne claire, the old and widespread tradition in France and Belgium most often associated with Tintin’s creator Hergé. Today Floc’h is one of the style’s most prominent practitioners with recurrent illustration assignments for The New Yorker, Elle, Le Monde, GQ and many other magazines, movie posters for directors such as Woody Allen, Mike Leigh and Alain Resnais and a large number of book covers.

“We are all here on this earth to do something, and it’s up to you to discover what your true role is.

Me, I am on earth to be Floc’h. My job is to be Floc’h.”

Lunch is, of course, delicious and the cozy room is made for talking about life and art. It was not randomly selected. Jean-Claude Floc’h – which is his full and real name – does not leave such choices to chance. He lets a ray of sunlight catch his well manicured left hand.

“Here begins my story,” he says, showing a thick signet ring in gold, decorated with a heraldic badge. The ring is a Cartier 1948, and the emblem is the very same that adorned his grandfather’s printing plant in northwestern France, where the Celtic language is still alive with distinct cultural strings to the British Isles. It seems like a reasonable explanation for his fascination with all things British, although he claims it started with number plates.

“When I was ten years old, I realized that the number plates on British cars were pure poetry and beauty compared to the terrible signs that adorned the cars in France. I felt ashamed of our number plates. Same thing with our flag compared to the Union Jack, or how beautiful British shop fronts are while ours are ugly.”

But, like so many probably have asked many times before, why don’t you live in London or Edinburgh that you love so much?

“I love caviar, but I don’t eat it every day,”

Floc’h explains with a shrewd smile.

“And London is not the same city it used to be. Nowadays it’s full of Frenchmen everywhere – and sunny too! And all the same shops everywhere, it’s so boring. ”


Floc’h’s love of Edinburgh is less bruised. A few years ago, Louis Vuitton offered Floc’h to illustrate the luxury brand’s own guide to the Scottish capital, one of several editions in an exclusive series of guidebooks. In addition to a generous fee Floc’h would be accommodated in the five-star Balmoral Hotel and let to roam freely around the city for three weeks.

“No thanks, I’m not a tourist guide”, Floc’h replied – to the publisher’s surprise and his wife’s despair: you must be completely daft, you love Edinburgh and Scotland!

Floc’h called back to Louis Vuitton and resumed negotiations. “Okay, I can take on the assignment if I also get to write the book. There must be words in the book, otherwise it will be just a flip chart. And besides, I also want my daughter with me.”

Louis Vuitton chose to accept Floc’h’s conditions. The result is a charming combination of travelogue and textbook, in which the author takes his daughter on a journey through Scottish history, from Viking times to the present day. Nothing is made up, everything is true. Floc’h himself plays the main character as in most of his books and illustrations. For it is his job to be Floc’h and reality is always more interesting than imagination. And people with imagination are boring.

Floc’h is chock-full of such statements. After a day in his company, ones notebook is full of drastic one-liners:

Whisky is for fat people who have too much time.

If you have a good eye your hearing is often bad.

My great artistic expectations go perfectly well with my laziness.

To be excited is ridiculous.

Money is a boring subject.

And the favorite theme par excellence:
Hollywood was fantastic as long as its directors were from Europe. Then came Steven Spielberg …

After a number of scattered hints and references, it becomes obvious that Floc’h loves to use Spielberg as analogy for everything that is bad, trite, uninteresting and stupid in contemporary culture. He goes into a lengthy lecture on director John Ford and his horizon line as the sign of a great artist – which Spielberg would never comprehend. But, Floc’h admits, it is also about the sheer pleasure of saying bad things about Spielberg.

The lunch has settled. Floc’h had a simple but elegant salad. Our conversation shall continue in the streets where the man who is not a tourist guide will show us some favorite places in his neighborhood. First the Delacroix museum in the house on Place de Furstenberg where the great painter and illustrator lived, then L’Hôtel on Rue des Beaux Arts where Oscar Wilde drew his last breath, and also where the Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges always resided whenever he was in Paris.

The daughter, who now knows everything about Edinburgh, was born in Floc’h’s first marriage. Today he is married for the second time and wakes his wife Marion up each morning with breakfast in bed. Himself, he hates to sleep. Or as he puts it, to be in bed just to sleep. Marion is a researcher in Roman law, and has introduced “new modernity” in Floc’h’s otherwise rather anachronistic existence. Namely a computer and a professional knowledge of digital graphic design. Floc’h has neither computer, mobile phone, driving license, car and claims he has never owned a TV.

“Life is short and you have to choose. I only put things I like into my brain. I find it quite puzzling when people spend 2-3 hours a day watching TV. You can do so much in a day if you don’t waste time.”

The couple recently bought a summer house in Biarritz where Floc’h tries to live as a normal vacationer, without much success. He understands the concept of vacation just as little as he understands the concept of work.

“I do hate the idea of work. I never work but I always have something to do. Therefore, I don’t like being on holiday, it takes far too much time from more sensible things. I always do exactly what I want to do for the moment, and the illustrations don’t always win. ”

As an example, he tells of how Cartier contacted him in 2007 asking him to do illustrations for the launch of their now legendary watch Ballon Bleu. At the instant, Floc’h was fully occupied with carpentry that gave him so much pleasure that he was about to say no to the lucrative assignment.

He has always been sure of his own judgment, whether it corresponds with the general opinion or not.

Floc’h smiles almost triumphant. It’s so easy when you decide who you want to be in your own life. He talks about his newfound friendship with Jack Carlson, three time member of the national US rowing team, doctor of archeology at Oxford and author of the book “Rowing Blazers”, the definitive standard work on the blazer in both rowing and academia. Jack Carlson is 29 years old.

“We hit it off immediately. It was so simple, so perfect. We have the same approach to life,” says Floc’h, leaning on a quote from Voltaire himself:

“I decided to be happy because it’s good for my health.”

To regard Floc’h as a dandy or a fop is a normal human reaction, because he is generally more extravagant, expressive, expansive and extroverted than most.

Ever the gentleman, he takes that kind of categorization with elevated calm.

“People say I’m always elegant, but I say that I’m just being my usual, well-groomed self. I have a tailor and I shop clothes if I see something I like, but I already have everything. Sometimes I buy a tie, though I already have two hundred.”

“I do hate the idea of work.

I never work but I always have something to do.”

Beat on the brat,
beat on the brat,
beat on the brat
with a baseball bat,
oh yeah!

In the company of Floc’h, it is easy to forget that he has not always been a 63-year-old man with trousers well above his waistline, well-polished welted shoes and a shiny watch chain. But later in the evening, at a completely different restaurant, he suddenly begins to sing the chorus from one of The Ramones classic punk songs: “Beat on the brat, beat on the brat, beat on the brat with a baseball bat, oh yeah!”. Soon his love of rock music creeps to the front, just as deep as his interest of beautiful art and classical culture.

“Rock music saved some of my life, too, with Velvet Underground, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and other bands who were underground at the time. Back then we had no mobile phones or digital toys. But we had the girls, art and music. To be and not to have”, he cleverly sums up the subject. Underground as concept and direction is a thing of the past, according to Floc’h who is happy to talk about his longing for the virginity and innocence he recalls from the early years of art and culture. It was eventually broken by challenging artists, musicians and directors who certainly made great art (he mentions names like Lichtenstein, Warhol and Arthur Penn), but innocence is and remains broken. Says Floc’h while simultaneously going on about how he constantly wants to defy the habitual and conventional old habits. He has always been sure of his own judgment, whether it corresponds with the general opinion or not.

Already as a teenager, he turned and went in the opposite direction whenever he came upon a crowd of people. His tendency to do the opposite is well known, and almost as a kind of scientific proof he refers to a study he’d recently read about businessmen choosing to follow their inner voice and leaving the world of business in order to realize their true calling. The survey found that over 80 percent of those that take the step had great success in their new lives, and never wanted to go back.

But first a few words about nostalgia,

this misunderstood and misinterpreted concept so dear to Floc’h.

“I met an architect who said that the quality of a given project depends on its ability to create a sense of nostalgia. The word nostalgia in French means a happy and joyful feeling, a timeless quality that will retain its value over time. I’m not afraid of that word. You know that I’m not a modern person, but try to find a modern guy who is better than me at being happy. He would not have a chance! ”

Roaring laughter rolls around the room. The eccentric exhibitionist excels and we are still excited.

It is unclear whether anyone actually asks the question about which are the world’s best books, but Floc’h answers anyway:

“The best books? Not with me, boys. But you can get my own favorites in five minutes. I always read and often have multiple books going at once. I know exactly where I am in each book. And so here it is:

All my favorites reflects my two personalities; the seeking and the joie de vivre. Therefore, I love to listen to both Erik Satie and the Velvet Underground. I love to read “Finnegan’s Wake” by James Joyce, which is almost incomprehensible – but I also love … (pausing for effect) … P.G. Wodehouse!”

And thus we arrive at Floc’h’s next project, a real labour of love with his lifelong friends, the books in the centre. A book about 50 or so of the books he has read and loved all through his life, carefully selected, described and illustrated by a 63-year-old man who no longer has the slightest doubt about what he likes and has strong feelings about.

“Sometimes I sit alone reading and cry because I get so touched. When I presented the idea to my publisher, I had three people crying.

Because feelings are hot stuff…”


Writer: Anders Westgårdh
Photographer: Håkan Ludwigson

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Giving Tuesday Acclaims Aliyya Mattos and PaperSeed Foundation

Giving Tuesday, an organization that encourages charitable giving the Tuesday after Thanksgiving in the US—it falls right after the more commercial-driven “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday”—recently highlighted PaperSeed Foundation Executive Director Aliyya Mattos for the incredible, transformational work she and her team accomplish every day.

The feature article is part of Giving Tuesday’s “Women Who Give” program, and provided Aliyya, who certainly qualifies as a woman who gives, with an opportunity to trumpet some of the Foundation’s successes. The story provides some well-deserved good publicity for the Foundation, and will help the team continue to surpass expectations.

Check out the story here.giving_tuesday_logo


Read more on PaperSeed’s partnership with CellMark here.


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How Ready Are You to Innovate?

We look very much forward to the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce’s workshop on “How to Succeed at Innovation” that will take place at the House of Sweden, Washington DC on April 18th. CellMark will attend and are also the main sponsor of this event. Our company has a large footprint in the US with a turnover close to $1.2 Billion. We go to Washington as we have high aspirations for the company and want to improve on our ability to innovate and generate the ideas that will make us stronger improving our business offerings going forward.

The workshop and table discussions are conducted by Magnus Penker and Peet van Biljon of Innovation360Group, a fast growing Stockholm based innovation consultancy with US offices in DC and soon in NYC. It serves large corporation on growth and innovation challenges, including CellMark and our Taskforce for Business Development.

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