Mobile learning platform Duolingo announced today that it has completed the acquisition of Gunner, a design and animation studio based in Detroit. Duolingo uses animations such as those created by the Michigan shingle in its apps to drive engagement, keep learners motivated and build its brand.
“We know that the hardest thing about learning a language, or any new subject, is staying motivated, and that’s why we make Duolingo fun,” said Luis von Ahn, Co-Founder & CEO of Duolingo. “Art and animation are foundational to the Duolingo brand, and we use them to help make Duolingo a beloved daily habit in millions of learners’ lives.”
Gunner has been an integral animation and design partner for Duolingo since 2020 and produces art and animations that show up in Duolingo’s flagship language app and early childhood literacy app, Duolingo ABC. The studio also produces elements of Duolingo’s brand marketing campaigns. The acquisition of Gunner will add 15 designers, illustrators and animators to Duolingo’s existing design teams.
“Gunner is a world-class illustration and animation studio that we’ve worked with for years, and they know our brand well,” added Bob Meese, Chief Business Officer of Duolingo. “Animation brings life to Duo, our iconic brand mascot, and to our cast of characters. It helps make our products great, and our characters memorable. We love Gunner and are thrilled to welcome their whole team to Duolingo.”
Ian Sigmon, Co-founder of Gunner, commented on the announcement, “We have been fortunate to collaborate with so many great brands as a studio, but over the last couple of years Duolingo has stolen our hearts. Our artists pour so much care into every project, so it feels right to be at a company that invests in art, and has a mission that we believe in.”