The Black Swan Theory

Design by Andreas Mohacsy

The Black Swan Theory by Andreas Mohacsy on Threadless
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Andreas Mohacsy
Andreas Mohacsy profile pic Artist

In seventeenth century Europe it was presumed that all swans were white and therefore a black swan could not exist. A century later black swans were discovered in Australia and the term “Black Swan” soon became used to describe perceived impossibilities that are later proven possible.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb uses the Black Swan Theory to describe events that are rare, hard to predict, high impact and beyond standard expectations. Relatively speaking the Black Swan Theory shares many attributes of a trend. A trend is also rare, hard to predict can have a large impact on its particular subculture & environment and often demands a new standard that needs to be met.

This design pays homage to the mind blowing discovery of the black swan by actually re enacting it. It is a clear concise depiction of a white swan, until the seemingly impossible is revealed every time you turn out the light.

The major new trends that I would like to see embraced in direct relation to this design are

1) The creation of designs with a degree of interactivity within them.
2) Personal belief that anything is possible, even the seemingly impossible!

Additional foreseeable trends that could be derived from this design include an increase in specialty printing techniques, a return to simplicity, unique alternatives in which to deliver a message, historically driven ideas, a greater desire for educational information, actually re-enacting an event or uniquely expressing a narrative and a greater emphasis placed on research, exploration and discovery, the basis for creating new trends.

Non foreseeable (black swan) but ultimately possible trends that could be derived from this design include full feathered t-shirts, human gills that allow you to breathe underwater, an increase in global peace and an increase in resources to develop a cure for cancer.

PS: I think the important thing to remember with trends (black swans) is that they can come from nowhere and strike without warning. It is possible that a design created to promote a certain trend could have a mind of its own and become a trend for a completely different and unforeseeable reason. Just as it is possible that a design created with no desire to become a trend could become the epitome of one.

3 normal colours and 2 super glow inks placed centre chest on a light blue T:)

Tikimasters profile pic Alumni

Nice work as usual dude. I'm getting used to saying that to you haha


Great research work! The design doesn't work too much for me, but the concept is solid. 4

Robsoul profile pic Alumni

I just want the black swan on a black shirt. Done. I'll 5$ that.

igo2cairo profile pic Alumni

Very cool concept! However have to agree with Robsoul, the black swan on the black shirt looks awesome on it's own.

ndstillie profile pic Alumni

ooh yeah.. make one of the black swan on black at some point.
cool idea and shirt

celandinestern profile pic Alumni

yay for feathered shirts, human gills and world peace!!! I dig :D


That's the longest bit of text about the shirt and design I've ever seen. Cool idea and cool shirt.

soloyo profile pic Alumni

Black on Black! please !
here's five for now! 5

ndikol profile pic Alumni


Andreas Mohacsy
Andreas Mohacsy profile pic Artist

thanks guys, in a lot of ways i think this is the best threadless design i've done, although perhaps not nearly the most popular one.

Aesthetically the black swan would work well on its own but the concept is what this design is all about, simple and strongly executed.

Andreas Mohacsy
Andreas Mohacsy profile pic Artist

besides every shirt will contain the black swan, just at night time:)


love it $5$


I love the concept behind the tee but unfortunately I agree the white swan on light blue tee isn't very appealing.

I understand how the alternation between the two swans serves the concept, I hope it looks great on a tee(you haven't included a placement view)

Overall great job!

FRICKINAWESOME profile pic Alumni

Nice explanation, really well there a shirt sample I'm not seeing in the presentation?

Andreas Mohacsy
Andreas Mohacsy profile pic Artist

thanks guys:)

i couldn't fit it in to the flash presentation size wise Awesome, i did mock one up and with most simple designs it looks pretty standard and really nice so i just figured people would get that but i should have known better.

i should have also provided a much simpler explanation of the design on the actual submission. i really wanted to create a turn the light on and off button for my flash presentation but i havn't done flash coding in so long i couldn't figure it out.

in hindsight i think my presentation has really let the design down:(


yeah, loving the notion of interactive designs, this is such a good example of that.


i love this idea!! i really hope you get printed!

Ivantobealone profile pic Alumni

Very compelling work!

courtney pie

I actually read all that!

I feel smarter. 5$


Oh yes, the black swan on a black shirt -- I would love it. But the concept is great, nevertheless.

mangobajito profile pic Alumni

Cool concept! Great jobbbb!:)

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