Designing for good: An interview with Sophie Luka, Senior Designer and AGDA Emerging Designer of the Year Merit Winner

“Design has transformed from something that was typically overlooked, into a valued asset, solving some of the biggest challenges in healthcare to date.”

Sophie Luka is a Senior Designer with the in-house creative team at Eucalyptus. Her main passion lies in art direction and brand design, leading the creative development and oversight of new brands, TVCs, in-app educational content, as well as stills and video assets across multiple platforms.

Her award-winning work has been praised by the Australian Graphic Design Association (AGDA) and the Australian Good Design Awards. Prior to Eucalyptus, Sophie was at With You Studio in Chippendale, where she worked with various clients, from local businesses like Good Ways Deli, to global brands like eBay and Index Exchange.

A passionate member of Sydney's design community, Sophie mentors up-and-coming designers through TAFE NSW. Sophie is passionate about democratising design on all levels; with this mindset, she leads her team to lift the quality of design in the rapidly evolving industry of digital healthcare.

We sat down with Sophie to learn more about her creative approach and her recent win at the 2023 AGDA Awards. 

EE: What inspires you most as a creative?

SL: Is it predictable for me to say literally everything? The other day I got inspiration from the back of a pub toilet door of all places. But in all honesty, I think the key to keeping myself on my toes is reading, listening and constantly learning. 

I read a lot — whether that’s design blogs, the news, books or magazines. I’m also a big believer that if we have downtime, it’s so important to get out of the office and soak up something new, whether that is an exhibition, an industry talk or a gig — I always find myself thinking about new ideas when exposed to something entirely fresh.

But most importantly, I actively seek inspiration from our patients — their stories inspire me every day. It’s so important to get inspiration from them, and understand what and where their interests lie, where we can pull from and ensure that our work resonates best with them and their experience. 

EE: Why do you enjoy designing for Eucalyptus?

SL: My work here at Eucalyptus has caused me to shift my entire approach to design. This has been transformative in my understanding of what it means to make truly impactful work. Prior to designing here, my view of design was very one-sided: I was always focused on making the most beautiful work that I possibly could, with little regard to if it served the audience.

Since working with patients, and understanding the issues that are making a real difference to people’s lives every day, I have come to appreciate what it means to make design for good. Now, I prioritise functionality and accessibility, over aesthetics for aesthetics sake.

Understanding things more holistically, and with a patient’s first mindset, has been a key to the success of the design work we do at Euc — particularly in terms of patient outcomes. We are designing for a unique industry — and one that doesn’t often highlight the significance of design. For a long time, healthcare has ignored the value of good quality design and has been highly clinical and unapproachable.

As a leading voice within a strong design team, I have helped to push design within the company and by extension, pushed the boundaries throughout the broader digital healthcare category. As a result, design has transformed from something that was typically overlooked, into a valued asset for solving some of the biggest challenges in healthcare to date.

EE: Congratulations on your win at the AGDA Awards. Which projects did you choose to showcase in your submission, and why? 

SL: I’ve had the opportunity to work on so many different jobs here since starting at Euc, and this has played a massive role in the shaping of my portfolio. Notably, I included my work from the build of the Juniper App, which won gold at the Good Design Awards earlier this year. I worked on this project with a multidisciplinary team of creatives, including Senior Product Designer, George Hatzis, Senior Content Designer, Jewel Horton and Production Lead, Elliot Toms. The Juniper mobile app gives women struggling with weight a medical pathway to lasting weight loss. Receiving quality and consistent weight care is, concerningly, not the norm experienced by Australian women. We designed this app to deliver high-touch weight care to our patients, providing them with access to expert support in their pockets.

Another key project was the Eucalyptus brand identity refresh we rolled out in August –– a major milestone for the business. To match our evolving vision, we elevated both the voice and brand identity of Euc to align with the demands of our mission: To deliver higher touch, higher quality
healthcare to every Australian, and then the world. We were tasked with creating a visual identity that reflected our position as a global company, delivering quality care, and our goal of unlocking better health outcomes for billions of patients. 

EE: How did you feel getting a Merit award?

SL: It’s been a huge year for me, both personally and professionally, so it’s an honour to be recognised by AGDA, both as an in-house designer and one working within the digital health industry. The work we do is unique, long-lasting and impacts real people every single day. I believe the design industry needs to start recognising the work of designers working in-house more. Diversifying the pool of award-winning designers with those working outside of traditional agency structures in emerging industries will play a pivotal role in this. 

EE: What is the Euc creative team most looking forward to in 2024? 

SL: Next year is going to be massive — we are stepping into a new set of challenges within the business and building multiple new clinics in the menopause and preventative healthcare space. This is going to be a game changer for the way that we look at chronic health conditions, and to play a part in the birth of products that are going to impact the quality of people's lives is incredibly rewarding. We have a strong community of designers across growth and product to help make it all happen. 

I am keen to see how Eucalyptus will continue to make a mark on the healthcare industry, helping patients within a sector that generally is so bleak, clinical and unapproachable. With fresh minds, disruptive approaches to design and by keeping people at the centre of all that we do, I believe we have so much more to bring to the table. 

No matter your discipline, if you're a creative who is looking to get involved with the incredible work we are doing, we would love to hear from you. We love hosting external speakers and sharing our knowledge with other teams too. Get in touch with our team to hear about any upcoming opportunities.

Also, my calendar is always open for coffee, if you want mentorship, advice, craft help, or anything at all please feel free to email me at


Sophie Luka
Senior Designer
Erin Ewen