Thaden School is an independent secondary school in Bentonville, Arkansas, that is set to open its doors in Fall 2017. As plans for the new school got underway, the school’s management team engaged LaPlaca Cohen to help develop the school’s aspirations, ethos, name, and overarching communications strategy.


LaPlaca Cohen refined the foundational components of the school’s vision, including its values, educational philosophy, and relationship to its community, and identified the key factors that differentiate it from its local and national peers.

With these insights, we developed a comprehensive Communications Strategy, and translated the school’s overall identity into its chosen name, “Thaden,” which draws its inspiration from Iris Louis McPhetridge Thaden—an early female aviation pioneer from Bentonville who reflected the school’s curious, diligent, and compassionate spirit.

LaPlaca Cohen was asked to design a graphic identity for the school that would capture its unique spirit. The resulting design is focused and uplifting, with a contemporary simplicity that evokes Thaden’s forward-thinking ethos. Resembling a wheel balancing on a string, the logo highlights the school’s desire to help students achieve balance by nurturing different facets of their intellect and character.

We also consulted on content and imagery for Thaden’s website, which serves as the primary resource for information on the school, and we developed a series of online FAQs to guide potential families and staff members in understanding what will define the “Thaden experience.”




As Thaden prepares for its highly-anticipated launch in Fall of 2017, the school’s compelling and distinct vision and identity have driven its efforts to recruit top faculty and students. The new Communications Strategy will be used to guide key decision-making and content development across all channels, while its graphic identity will continue to be activated through signage, admissions materials, and more.


Discovery Work Session
Communications Strategy Work Session
Communications Strategy
Nomenclature Strategy
Graphic Identity Design