A NEW LANGUAGE OF FORM
During the postwar years, when Edward McKnight Kauffer and A. M. Cassandre were applying synthetic cubism's planes to the poster in England and France, a formal typographic approach to graphic design emerged in Holland and Russia, where artists saw clearly the implications of cubism. Visual art could move beyond the threshold of pictorial imagery into the invention of pure form. Ideas about form and composing space from the new painting and sculpture were quickly applied to problems of design. It would be a mistake, however, to say that modern design is a stepchild of the fine arts. In the genesis of twentieth-century design Frank Lloyd Wright, the Glasgow group, the Vienna Secession, Adolf Loos, and Peter Behrens were all moving a heartbeat ahead of modern painting in their consciousness of plastic volume and geometric form at the turn of the century. A spirit of innovation was present in art and design, and new ideas were in abundance. By the end of World War I, graphic designers, architects, and product designers were energetically challenging prevailing notions about form and function.