Kolam is the 5,000-year-old art of making geometric floor drawings with rice flour, practiced by the Dravidian women of South India. This article introduces a point lattice-based method of visual organization that is derived from Kolam drawings. In it, a point lattice formed by a regularly spaced array of points is used to structure visual compositions, as an alternative to a network of orthogonal lines (also known as the grid). First, I show how the point lattice system is used to structure Kolam drawing compositions, including the lattice's construction, types, and uses. Second, through a formal analysis of such a points system in structuring forms, patterns, letters, and layouts in graphic design, I show that this system offers a whole alternate universe of compositional possibilities that are not apparent when graphic designers see a grid not as points, but as a series of constraining straight lines. Through this research, I look inward into the design ethos and tools present in Indian arts and crafts and present its application in contemporary design practice.

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