Understanding the relationship of the size and shape of an organism to the size, shape and number of its constituent cells is a basic problem in biology, however numerous studies indicate that the relationship is complex and often non-intuitive. To investigate this problem we have used a system for the inducible expression of genes involved in the G1/S transition of the plant cell cycle and analysed the outcome on leaf shape. By combining a careful developmental staging with a quantitative analysis of the temporal and spatial response of cell division pattern and leaf shape to these manipulations, we found that changes in cell division frequency occurred much later than the observed changes in leaf shape. These data indicate that altered cell division frequency cannot be causally involved in the observed change of shape. Rather, a shift to a smaller cell size as a result of the genetic manipulations performed correlated with the formation of a smoother leaf perimeter, i.e., appeared to be the primary cellular driver influencing form. These data are discussed in the context of the relationship of cell division, growth and leaf size and shape.