The Client

Located in the heart of Hill Country and a close neighbor to Austin, the City of Round Rock, Texas offers a myriad of outdoor activities and historic sites. Beyond its history, the future-focused community has shaped a high quality of life for families and businesses alike through the creation of award-winning schools, health care systems and economic vitality initiatives.

The Sticky Wicket

As one of the fastest growing cities in America and one of the country’s most livable towns, Round Rock understood the need to continuously cultivate community experiences. To enhance livability and promote connection, the City not only needed to develop and market in-person events during pre-COVID times, but they also needed to create consistent messaging and implement safe activities during COVID.

The Awesome Sauce

As long-term partners, R&R’s team of designers and strategists were able to work with Round Rock’s City and Downtown teams to develop marketing materials that were consistent, smart and creative. The assets shifted as the world shifted to offer friendly tools for families to find small joy during the pandemic, while also helping to establish the Downtown Round Rock website as a resource for family fun and community information.

Hometown Halloween 

Hometown Halloween first came to be in 2016. In its inaugural year it didn’t just meet expectations, it far exceeded them. The in-person Downtown event has since been a literal crowd favorite, offering opportunities for local businesses to hand out candy to kids and entice adults with shopping. Plus, each year more activities such as hay rides, live music, photobooths and apple-bobbing were added. As with most things in 2020, the event was canceled, but the City was able to pivot by creating at-home activities. The suite of kid-approved materials included a scavenger hunt, coloring sheet and pumpkin carving stencils – all of which were promoted via social media wall posts, Instagram stories, website banners, a blog and video.

Round Rock Hometown Halloween - logo on dark background
Round Rock - Hometown Halloween Scavenger Hunt print-outs
Round Rock - Hometown Halloween Instagram story

Hometown Thanksgiving

Following the positive feedback garnered from Hometown Halloween’s at-home activities and the concerns surrounding gathering for Thanksgiving, the City team suggested developing a Thanksgiving experience. Thus, the Hometown Thanksgiving brand was born. Including the brand, a coloring sheet and thankful cards were created to help share small moments of gratitude and love with family, friends and neighbors.

Round Rock Hometown Thanksgiving - logo on brown background
Round Rock Hometown Thanksgiving - Cards
Round Rock Hometown Thanksgiving - Coloring sheet

Hometown Holiday

In 2016, we also assisted the Round Rock team in developing the Hometown Holiday event, branding an experience around the Downtown’s winter light display. Similar to Hometown Halloween, it was a tremendous success year after year. For 2020, the lights still went up, but with social-distancing protocols and safety precautions in place to slow the spread of COVID. Even with the lights up, the City wanted to provide at-home offerings of joy, so a suite of “de-light-full” materials were brought to life. These materials included bingo cards, a coloring sheet, multiple “Dear Santa” letter templates, ornament stencils and a holiday Spotify playlist. The light displays and holiday printables were shared via print ads, social media wall posts, Instagram stories, web banners, a blog, yard signs and community websites.

Round Rock Hometown Holiday - logo on red background
Round Rock - Hometown Holiday, ad design
Round Rock Hometown Holiday - ornament illustration animation
Round Rock Hometown Holiday - Bingo card design

Music on Main

Started in 2017, Music on Main was the perfect answer to spring and summer nights. The weekly music event brought local and regional talent to Downtown for an evening of toe-tapping tunes, good food and good company. From the logo to the flyers, social posts to Instagram stories and ads to billboards, the marketing helped announce the upcoming performers and encouraged the drive-market to plan a visit on those particular Wednesdays. The series also brought increased foot-traffic and business to the Downtown restaurants and retail shops. Unfortunately, Music on Main was canceled for 2020, but the designs were implemented prior to lockdowns.

Round Rock - Music on Main postcard
Round Rock - Music on Main Billboard
Round Rock - Music on Main Mobile ad


The global pandemic put a major wrench in everyone’s plans, as you’ve read throughout this case study. On top of pivoting to adjust for canceled events, the City and Downtown teams also had to become public health marketers. By creating witty social posts and friendly campaigns, we were able to help Round Rock educate their community through consistent and memorable messaging and designs. Overall, the campaigns aided in greater reach and business buy-in, ensuring that the City’s safety efforts were being seen and heard.

Round Rock - COVID wear a mask signage
Round Rock - COVID social posts

Client Love

"Rhyme & Reason helped us seamlessly navigate providing valuable public health information as well as a little bit of fun for our residents during the pandemic. Annual events became digital experiences for citizens to enjoy while being stuck at home. Some of the digital components were so successful that we plan to continue to provide them for years to come! In addition, our public health social posts were given the Rhyme & Reason treatment – great design and humor!– which helped us spread the important information to all of our residents."

- Courtney Ainsworth, Downtown Manager