The Charter School of San Diego Rebranding


The Charter School of San Diego faced many communication challenges, which included the myths surrounding charter schools (only for poor performing students, not academically rigorous, and no academic accreditation) and the perception that CSSD is an overarching entity for all charter schools in San Diego.

Working with the school’s leadership, Nuffer, Smith, Tucker took CSSD through an extensive brand assessment process and created a plan to dispel the common myths and differentiate CSSD from other charter schools. During this process, NST and CSSD addressed the confusion surrounding the organization’s name and decided it was time to rebrand the school to better speak to its mission, vision and values.

Through workshops with the faculty, staff and board, NST explored name alternatives, developed a new tagline to support the new positioning and key messages, planned a formal roll out of a new name, designed the new graphic identity and developed a style manual for the use of the graphic elements.

As a result, The Charter School of San Diego officially changed its name to Altus Institute.


With the launch of the new name, NST created a full marketing/collateral packet, including business cards, letterhead, brochures, folders and more.

NST also created a scalable version of their logo that incorporated consistent elements, but used different colors to help the schools housed under the Altus Institute (Mirus, Akamai and others) each have their own identity.