Current Silver Medal Honoree

Mark Edward Atkinson Advertising Federation of Greater Hampton Roads 2019 Silver Medal Award Honoree

Click here to nominate someone deserving for the 2020 & 2021 SILVER MEDAL Award.  Act now through April 30, 2021!

Mark Atkinson - otto

Mark Atkinson, the Advertising Federation of Greater Hampton Roads’ Silver Medal Award honoree for 2019, is a co-founder of Otto Design + Marketing, a Norfolk-based advertising agency.

Before partnering with Pete Leddy in 2000, Atkinson owned and operated a photography and boutique design studio specializing in commercial and editorial photography and design work for small businesses and non-profits. Today, Otto employs 12 designers, account executives, web  programmers, and producers for clients such as Eastern Virginia Medical School, Kaufman and Canoles, Virginia Beach Economic Development, Kingston Resorts, and Langley Federal Credit Union. The firm has won Best in Show in the Hampton Roads ADDY® Awards competition three times – including one win solely for photography – along with many gold and silver awards. He has created campaigns for a wide variety of other clients including fashion businesses Beecroft & Bull, Akoo and Votre Nom.

Atkinson’s work has been seen in the One Show, Communication Arts, Photo District News, and various other award publications and magazines. His work has been selected for shows at the Chrysler Museum, the Stanley Gallery, the Fayetteville Museum of Art, MOCA, the Maine Photographic Workshop, and a recent solo exhibit at the Hermitage Museum in Norfolk. In 2018, he published a 328-page retrospective of his photography entitled PROOF. In 2008, he led the launch of Distinction magazine for The Virginian Pilot, serving as editor for three years – writing and shooting many of the stories and overseeing the magazine’s initial design.

Atkinson has been deeply involved in the work of several non-profits over the years, including Operation Smile and Smile Train. He has traveled to more than 22 countries shooting images for various nonprofits and news organizations. He has produced and shot mini-documentaries and print campaigns on the homeless efforts in Charlotte, NC, working with the organization Urban Ministries for 20 years. Additionally, he has provided pro bono services for many area organizations including the YMCA, the Jewish Community Center, Hope House, the Boardwalk Art Show, and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

He has served on the advisory board of Tidewater Community College’s photography curriculum and the board of directors for the regional chapter of ASMP (American Society of Media Photographers).

Atkinson is a graduate of Wake Forest University (BS in business) and Randolph Community College (photography). Before his career in advertising, he worked as a writer and photojournalist for several newspapers including the Raleigh News & Observer. He claims to have never been arrested, and is somewhat enamored with dark chocolate and vodka (not necessarily together).

His most notable quote to date: “This path has mostly been about escaping boredom.”

Mark's celebration was in October 2019 at The CAVALIER Hotel, Virginia Beach Oceanfront.


The Silver Medal Award was established by the American Advertising Federation (AAF) in 1959 to recognize men and women who have made outstanding contributions to advertising and who have been active in furthering the industry's standards, creative excellence, and responsibility in areas of social concern.
A local AAF chapter may bestow only one of these highly-coveted awards per year.

We are now seeking nominations for the next year's Silver Medal Award honoree. Completed nomination forms must be received by Friday, April 30, 2021.

Download the nomination form here.

Acknowledge those who have given so much to Advertising right here.

Think of the people who have achieved an exceptional level of success, strengthened our craft, inspired others to achieve in advertising and marketing as they should be considered.

Questions? Email: [email protected]