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The Academy_

We teach creatives.

Founded in 2006 by a team of very passionate people, the Friends of Design Academy of Digital Arts 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 recognition as a centre of Higher Education registered with the Department of Higher Education. 

Throughout the years, the Academy of Digital Arts 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 at the forefront of the ever-evolving digital arts. 

Graphics

Web

Game

Concept Art

This past year, we’ve employed three ADA students & have been blown away by their knowledge and work ethic.

Jade McDuling
Edge

A great environment for learning and creating. The staff and lecturers are well informed and the environment is ideal for growing designers in all disciplines.

James Vodden
BBD

The Academy of Digital Arts gave me skills that took me from an individual who aspired to design to a professional level in just one year! They offer amazing course material and even better lecturers that assist you every step of the way. I would recommend anyone and everyone to study at The Academy of Digital Arts.

Sage Basset
Graphic Design, 2016

The Academy of Digital Arts stands out as a forward thinking innovative force in higher education that enables students to propel into a creative future. The Academy of Digital Arts 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 the Academy of Digital Arts.

Ethan Trueman
Graphic Graphics & Multimedia Technology

The course focuses on practical work, which ensure rapid improvement in digital painting and visual communication. Great atmosphere and friendly work environment.

Tessa Wessels
Concept Art, 2018

Awesome place for awesome people – can’t wait to learn more!

Julia Zhu
Concept Art, 2018

Studying at the Academy of Digital Arts 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 ADA to anyone interested in a career in design.

Rona Lochner
Graphic Design + Web Design & Motion Graphics, 2016 - 2017

My journey I spent with the Academy of Digital Arts was both intimidating and an edifying experience. Powered by consistent creative thinking, ADA 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 the Academy of Digital Arts! 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 ADA 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 the Academy of Digital Arts 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

ADA ‘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 ADA 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

The Academy of Digital Art’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

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 specialnestled in the beating heart of Cape Town’s city centre. It’s the ideal spot to absorb the local lifestyle and cosmopolitan culture and get the inspiration flowing. This creative energy drives our classes, which remain firmly rooted in international best practices, and are designed to prepare our students for a future-proof creative career anywhere in the world. 

Our Team_

Kay Toelle

Founder | Director

Kerry Hugill

Creative Director | Head of Web

Hannelore Olivier

Academic Head

Kate Hilson

Head of Graphic Design

Andrew Barclay

Head of Game

Andrew Avvakoumides

Head of Concept Art

Tandiwe Sautare

Registrar & Finances

Sabrina Kopp

Head of Short Courses

Daniel Petley

Head of Corporate Training

Jessica Lang

​Marketing Manager

Carla Kirsten

Short Course Advisor

Part of a wider tribe _

The Academy of Digital Arts is an integral part of the wider Friends of Design tribe, which includes:  

  1.  A short-course academy 
  2.  A customised corporate training department for practicing professionals 
  3.  A fully-fledged design studio and agency called Loud Rabbits.
What does this mean for ADA students? 

Being involved in all aspects of the industry enables ADA to create a uniquely well-rounded educational experience for our students.  

We have excellent insight into existing gaps in the professional workplace from our corporate training workshops, and ensure our graduates leave our doors with all the most desirable skills in their fields. 

We also understand real-world clients and their evolving expectations, because our practicing lecturers deal with them every day. We use this knowledge to prepare our students for the professional interactions that await them in the workplace, and give them the confidence and experience to excel in client-facing situations from day one. 

Bridging the gap

A huge part of our teaching philosophy at the Academy of Digital Arts is to bridge the gap between education and the industry.  

To help us do this, we partner with numerous creative organisations, exhibitions, companies and educational departments to help develop our students’ skills, expose them to future contacts and opportunities, and help drive conversation and ongoing growth within our creative community. 

We also leverage our own industry experience to design courses that meet the current needs of the workplace and prepare our students to embrace future trends and technologies coming down the pipeline. As a result, our graduates are renowned for their industry-readiness and employability, and are highly sought-after within the digital arts fields. 

Our Friends _

Register for open day_

We’d love to chat to you.
Next Open Day: 30 November 2019
Time: 10:00 for 10:30am

Space is limited so don’t forget to book your spot!

Please note there will be presentations at 10:30am.