Bleeding Cool gets the word that British publisher Jonathan Cape has let go of their head of book design, Neil Bradford. Bradford had worked at the publisher through various different incarnations, now Divisional Production Director at Penguin Random House, for over 32 years. Details or the departure are sketchy, but I am told it all came down to company politics. Certainly losing a senior employee after so many decades is likely to have an impact.
Jonathan Cape was founded in 1921 by Herbert Jonathan Cape, who was head of the firm until his death in 1960. Cape and his business partner Wren Howard established a reputation for high quality design and production and a fine list of English-language authors, fostered by the firm's editor and reader Edward Garnett. Cape's list of writers ranged from poets including Robert Frost and C. Day Lewis, to children's authors such as Hugh Lofting and Arthur Ransome, to James Bond novels by Ian Fleming, to heavyweight fiction by James Joyce and T. E. Lawrence. After Cape's death, the firm later merged successively with three other London publishing houses. In 1987 it was taken over by Random House. Its name continues as one of Random House's British imprints and over recent decades became the premier publisher of adult graphic novels in Britain. This includes running the Graphic Novel Short Story prize with Comica and publishing the likes of graphic novels by Bryan Talbot, Posy Simmonds. Hannah Berry, Kate Beaton, Nick Hayes, Chris Ware, Joe Sacco, and more. Neil Bradford has been involved with all these books and authors and is the longest-standing employee at the publisher working in this environment. Jonathan Cape did not respond to inquiries made last week, but we would be open to hearing more from any involved parties.