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, as well as being a recognised centre of Higher Education registered with the Department of Higher Education.

Throughout 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 practising 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
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 Graphic Design
Loves design and chocolate equally.

Andrew Barclay

Head of Game

Andrew Avvakoumides

Head of Concept Art
Passion for excellence!

Tandiwe Sautare

Registrar & Finances
It’s the will, not the skill.

Sabrina Kopp

Head of Short Courses | Lecturer
Digital Designer, dog person and typography lover.

Daniel Petley

Head of Corporate Training
Outdoor aficionado, forever testing my physical boundaries!

Jessica Lang

Marketing Manager
Creativity is intelligence having fun!

Charlie Martinson

Short Course Advisor

Carla Kirsten

Short Course Advisor

Our Friends.

Who we are: Accreditation


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.

Who We Are Testimonials

What people say about usTestimonials from students and industry.

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
Graphic Design + Web Design & Motion Graphics, 2016 – 2017

My journey I spent with Friends of Design was both intimidating and an edifying experience. Powered by consistent creative thinking, FOD helped me to build up and expand on my existing skillset and portfolio. Not only did they teach me how to be a great designer, but also a better person. I am truly grateful to carry the name of the college and to be a proud ambassador.

Gavin Morison
Graphic Design, 2016

Being one of the students who applied straight out of high school,I have no regrets about my decision. I love it here at Friends Of Design! The lecturers are all lovely, the location is amazing, and the coffee is delicious. I am amazed at how far I have come as a designer in such a short time and all the opportunities I have received thanks to the college.

Amber Pitcher
Graphic Design + Web Design + Game Technology, 2016 – 2018

Almost everything I did while at FoD has helped my career, from design to video editing. I’m now a full-stack web developer preparing to start my own game studio in a year or two.

Kenny Web
Graphic Design + Web Design + Game Technology, 2014 – 2016

I’m a front-end developer at an advertising agency, which isn’t the career I thought I’d be in. It was Friends of Design that opened my eyes to the possibilities of development, and studying there was the best decision.

Dominica Wannenburg
Graphic Design + Web Design + Game Technology, 2014 – 2016

FoD ‘aka’ School of Digital Wizardry. An infectious ethos of creative exploration where tutors and learners are more like creative peers. I learned more in my one year at FoD with industry standard lessons and complimented practical projects. This compared to the prior 2-3 years of attempted self-teaching and research for game design and development. True to its name; I have also made incredible bonds with amazing individuals that I now call my friends.

Lee Ann Davids
Game Graphics & Multimedia Technology, 2016

Friends of Design’s educational secret sauce has equal parts serious hard work, crazy fun and good industry exposure.

Murray Walker
Game Graphics & Multimedia Technology, 2016

I’m really enjoying and appreciating the amount of time I get to explore this side of my creativity. Exploring my ability to draw, which previously I greatly underestimated. This course is building my confidence on the daily.

Sasha Bing
Graphic Design + Concept Art, 2017 – 2018

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