In making ethical choices about who to work for and what kind of jobs to take, Chantry decided that the system is designed to "make hypocrites out of all of us." In his early career, he was not particularly picky about who he worked for, recognizing the parallels between small and large businesses, even when one purported to be "independent" or "alternative." Chantry found working for corporations to be extremely difficult, because he perceived that decisions were made out of fear and within an extremely complex hierarchy. Often the nebulous "legal department" was called in to finalize choices about art—something Chantry finds antithetical to the process of making a good design. In addition, the process of actually getting paid by corporations was arduous and protracted.
At a certain point in the late '80s, Chantry decided to be more discriminating about his clients, and, as he puts it, "not work for assholes anymore." Instead of a few big jobs, he did a lot of small jobs and was suddenly overwhelmed with work instead of having to search it out.
Now when he assesses new clients, he uses what he calls the "bullshit meter," which is a measure of fakery and manipulation from the client's end. He is not willing to work in an environment where he is not respected, given creative license, or paid fairly for his work.
In Chantry's view, the graphic design business suffers from a delusion that it is somehow morally superior to the advertising industry because of its closer affiliation with "art." However, it is advertising's self-proclaimed mission to make money and, exploit images for the purpose of selling products. Graphic design, as a colluding agent in this process, should come clean about its own culpability. Chantry admits, "Sometimes I actually will do work for clients I don't like simply because I really believe in the project. I've turned down some huge-monied clients because I thought they sucked as institutions or as projects or even as personalities. However, I'm not suicidal—if they threw enough money at me, I'd certainly say yes. Then I'd turn around and use that money to help finance my work for clients I believe in. We're all whores, ya know."