Even though book design is still a big part of what I do, count me optimistic about the digital revolution threatening print publishing. There's nothing like a trip to the used book store to deliver the sobering reality that lots and lots of books are outdated within a decade. Trends, anthologies, heavy tomes crowd the shelves and are destined for a $1.00 sale. It is a humbling experience indeed to see a book that I poured hours of design into slashed to a rock bottom price. Information is inherently ephemeral, and most probably better off digital, including cookbooks. I believe the cream should be skimmed off the top and beaten stiff. That is, there is still room for beautifully designed books of substance, artifacts that will capture the eras in which we inhabit.
Detail from the 3-color cover of The Complete Book of Outdoor Cookery, designed by Diana Klemin and published in 1955.