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Duolingo Acquires Gunner Animation Studio

The deal adds 15 designers, illustrators, and animators to the learning platform’s design teams responsible for creating animation, a key component in how the company builds brand recognition and driving user engagement.

Learning platform Duolingo has completed its acquisition of Gunner, a design and animation studio based in Detroit. The platform uses animation in its learning apps to drive engagement, keep learners motivated, and build brand recognition.

“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,” commented Luis von Ahn, the company’s co-founder and CEO. “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, producing art and animation that shows 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 new 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,” noted 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.”

“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,” added Ian Sigmon, co-founder of Gunner. “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.”

Source: Duolingo, Inc.

Debbie Diamond Sarto's picture

Debbie Diamond Sarto is news editor at Animation World Network.