Duolingo Doubles Down on Design and Animation With Acquisition of Hobbes

Jul 09, 2024

Detroit-based studio gives Duolingo world-class motion design capabilities

PITTSBURGH, July 09, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Duolingo, Inc. (Nasdaq: DUOL), the world's leading mobile learning platform, announced today that it has completed the acquisition of Hobbes, an animation and motion design studio based in Detroit. This is Duolingo’s second acquisition, following the successful 2022 acquisition of Gunner, another Detroit-based design and animation studio that is affiliated with Hobbes. Duolingo uses animation and motion design to amplify game mechanics and make its products more fun and engaging. This acquisition marks the inception of a dedicated motion design team within Duolingo’s Design department.

“Design is a critical part of Duolingo’s success, particularly our use of character illustration and animation, which really accelerated since adding Gunner to our team. Now we’ll be able to accelerate our use of motion-design by adding Hobbes’ unique talents to our Design team,” said Ryan Sims, Chief Design Officer, Duolingo. “We’re investing in the belief that a more animated product experience is more fun and delightful, and leads to better learning outcomes.”

The acquisition of Hobbes will add twelve new world-class motion designers, animators, creative strategists, creative directors, and producers to Duolingo’s existing design teams and nearly double the size of Duolingo’s Detroit office. Hobbes is already a motion design partner for Duolingo, supporting the development of key features for Duolingo Music, product architecture, animation design systems, and more.

“We strive to put animators in the driver’s seat for product design, and Duolingo’s expertise and dedication to art, design, and continuous improvement align perfectly with our mission,” said Eddy Nieto, Partner and Creative Director, Hobbes. “This is a huge win for everyone on our team and we’re excited to grow our community of top talent here in Detroit,” added Nevin McRay, Managing Partner, Hobbes.

About Duolingo
Duolingo is the leading mobile learning platform globally. Its flagship app has organically become the world's most popular way to learn languages and the top-grossing app in the Education category on both Google Play and the Apple App Store. With technology at the core of everything it does, Duolingo has consistently invested to provide learners with a fun, engaging, and effective learning experience while remaining committed to its mission to develop the best education in the world and make it universally available.

About Hobbes
Hobbes is a motion design studio focused on creative solutions in product design and emerging technology. Their team specializes in elevating user experiences forward with function and delight. Clients include future-thinking product teams at Google, YouTube, Ford, Zapier, and Duolingo.

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