Nicola D’Alessandro, aka XxnIKoxX, is a talented graphic designer from Italy. We ran across his portfolio and we were immediately attracted to the personality he puts into his logo designs.

We’ve seen first hand what a pleasure it is to work with Nicola, when he joined our fun community contest to re-design the Miami Dolphins logo. Check out some of his photography and design work below.


Name: Nicola D’Alessandro
Location: Italy
99designs handle: XxnIKoxX
Projects won: 30

How did you get started in design?

I always liked drawing every since I was a kid! I studied accounting and commerical for 5 years, but I never gave up my passion for drawing.

One day, I discovered the existence of Photoshop and Illustrator. Then I began studying these programs by following online tutorials.


How do you get inspired?

My inspiration comes from everything around me: music helps a lot, so does walking or looking at pictures.

A detailed brief also helps, so I can better understand what the customer wants. The process begins by documenting the field, which is important from a cultural point of view. I learn many new things from working with every type of industry.

Once the research is done, I start creating proofs by hand using a pencil or pen with my tablet.

After I’ve made a selection of projects that stand out, I begin working in Illustrator.


Are there any other mediums or forms of art you like to work in?

Everything that is art deserves respect! Lately I’ve been warming up to photography, I noticed there are artists — like Dave Hill or Andrzej Dragan — who do amazing things in this area.


A photo taken by XxnlKoxX while he was doing street photography.

What do you think makes you stand out from other designers?

I think every designer has their own style. I try to always put a little bit of my personality in every project whether it be a logo, a character or any other form of design, and I think that’s what makes me different from other designers.


What led you to start using 99designs?

I discovered the existence of this fantastic site during some internet research. Since I am a competitive person, I wanted to test it and decided to sign up.

At the beginning, I wasn’t winning but I never gave up. Then I won my first contest and it was an indescribable emotion!

All of this has changed my life, somehow I knew my path was art and design — many thanks to 99designs! Now I study Advertising, Design and Creative, and work as a freelance graphic designer.


What are the three most important things that designers can do to have success at 99designs?

  1. Please, read the brief: Understand what the customer wants.
  2. Don’t copy other designers: The project must come from your own mind, it’s not nice to copy others.
  3. Don’t give up: If you have talent then the results will come, even if you do not win right away.

Why do you think design is important?

Because design shows everything a company represents. And a company’s branding distinguishes it from their competition.

How do you see the field of graphic design changing in the next few years?

I can not tell but I think the online configuration will become increasingly widespread. There will be more brains and more results!


Describe your hometown. Do your surroundings impact your design style?

My hometown is Ortona in Italy, a country rich in history. It’s located between the sea and the mountains.

The colors of the sea, at different times of the year are wonderful. It affects my style and definitely inspires me!