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PRESENTATION We live in a complex era. We have easy access to such astonishing quantities of information that we’re left with the problem of sorting it all out. Simply reading the newspaper from cover to cover can take a day or more of absolute concentration. The accelerated evolution in transport and the communications media has opened the floodgates for a stream of products and services that our forbears could not possibly have imagined. Today, we can constantly avail ourselves of an enormous variety of objects that have been, entirely or for the most part, planted, conceived, manufactured, assembled or packaged in faraway lands and which must be protected for delivery. Moving about this intricate world of supply in which we live is a ceaseless process of selection, as well as rejection. We barely have the time to try out and compare everything we acquire. This extraordinarily varied environment has conferred new responsibilities on the packaging of these products, responsibilities that go well beyond the original needs of preservation and identification. Today more than ever it’s a question of format, of differentiation, of singing the product’s praises, of informing, attracting and even seducing the consumer. The container is literally an intrinsic and inseparable part of the contents, as well as the ideal link with the brand which, in turn, it promotes and represents. Packages should be designed for a range of consumer encounters, whether for brand recognition during future shopping, to be distinguished from among other products in the pantry or for providing detailed information in the voice of a close confidante. Specialized designers and marketing experts must, therefore, work out a complex balance between surprise and consistency, attraction and information, to ensure a product’s success on its long journey into the consumer’s hands. Clearly, the designer must be in on branding decisions, market research, production capacity and available investment resources, as well as the needs of the particular environment where the product will be sold, which has a bearing on its size and durability, among other factors. The market’s ever-changing lifestyles and trends also play a role. The great British designer Michael Wolff succinctly describes the crux of the matter, when he says that first and foremost, designers must get customers in touch with their own individuality and authenticity, so that then they can help reveal them. I’ve been an observer of this revelatory process over the significant first 10 years of Forum’s existence. I’ve seen the company grow solidly and with professional pride, mature as a team, build strong alliances, continually upgrade the facilities, broaden its knowledge base and specialize. I know it hasn’t been easy. I recall some heart-to-heart talks in the early years fraught with the sense of crisis and desperation so familiar to corporate life within our particular national economy. Such sentiments and situations were splendidly overcome, which is why I remain certain that many years of promise await. I trust I will continue to be a witness.

Josep Palau Commercial Manager Ideograma Consultores


FIVESECONDS The time a package on the shelf has to attract the consumer’s attention