Welcome to Friends of Design – Academy of Digital Arts, one of Cape Town’s leading institutions in design education,preparing students for their creative careers.

Founded in 2006 by a team of very passionate people, the academy officially opened its doors in 2007. Since that first day, we’ve been committed to exceptional education standards, and enjoy national and international industry accreditation. In fact, as well as being a recognised centre of Higher Education registered with the Department of Higher Education.

Through out the years, Friends of Design has attracted staff and students from around the globe. This international network keeps our finger on the pulse of global trends and we constantly update our techniques and technology to keep our students on the cutting-edge of design.

Our passionate lecturers also play a vital role in keeping our academy current and connected. They’re all practicing professionals in their fields, bringing invaluable real world knowledge, contacts and insights to the table.

On top of all this, our campus is pretty special – nestled in the beating heart of Cape Town’s city centre – the ideal spot for absorbing the local lifestyle and culture. This creative energy drives our classes, which remain firmly rooted in international best practices, and are designed to prepare our students for a creative career anywhere in the world.

We look forward to welcoming you to Friends of Design – Academy of Digital Arts.

Meet the Team!

We're pretty awesome!

Kay Toelle

Founder | Director

Life-long learner.

Kerry Hugill

Management | Head of Web | Lecturer

Designer. Illustrator. Artist.
Didn't miss a single episode of Teen Wolf.

Hannelore Olivier

Head of Academics

Creative solutions, sound and
the silence in between.

Kate Hilson

Head of Print

Loves design and chocolate equally.

Andrew Barclay

Head of Game

Andrew Avvakoumides

Head of Concept Art

Passion for excellence!

Chanelle Perumal


I'm awfully greedy - I want everything from life.

Kauthar Benjamin

Marketing Manager

Avid people-watcher, cat lady,
and lover of landscapes.

Tandiwe Sautare


It's the will, not the skill.

Daniel Petley

Corporate and Short Course Training Manager

Outdoor aficionado, forever testing
my physical boundaries!

Sabrina Kopp

Designer | Print Lecturer

Digital Designer, dog person and typography lover.
Granny thinks I'm an artist.

Pierre Marqua

Web Designer | Web Lecturer

For the love of gravity and beyond.

Our Friends


Friends of Design – Academy of Digital Arts is a recognised Private Higher Education Institution, registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training: Certificate No 2010/HE07/04. All our Higher Certificate Courses are accredited by the Council of Higher Education (CHE) and registered on the National Qualifications Framework (Level 5) by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA).

In addition, Friends of Design is also an Adobe Authorized Training Centre (AATC), an Apple Authorized Training Centre, a Certiport Authorised Testing Centre, and CompTIA Certified.


Testimonials from students and industry.

Friends of Design stands out as a forward thinking innovative force in higher education that enables students to propel into a creative future. Friends of Design has added tremendous value to the community by generously sharing their knowledge, creativity and expertise, as well as empowering their students to focus on real-world projects.

Dr. Elizabeth Barclay

Western Cape Government

During my year with you, there was not a day that went by that I wasn’t learning or challenged in a new way. All of my modules were well structured, enjoyable, informative and well supported by lecturers. I have grown immensely as a game designer, and as I move into the professional field, intend to be an outstanding ambassador for Friends of Design.

Ethan Trueman

Game Graphics & Multimedia Entertainment

Studying at Friends of Design is like being part of a secret society, where they teach you how to “hack the system”. I can’t believe people actually get paid to design and live out their creativity in this way. I highly recommend FOD to anyone interested in a career in design.

Rona Lochner

Print Design & Publishing


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