Can I ask what program you made those maps in?
I think the colored map could be helpful as a secondary map, but the color scheme has a wide range. I wonder if at this level of the map (in terms of the size/scope) if you could just use the names of the regions (maybe bending the Northwest around a bit as it's one of the areas that doesn't have a central area that works with a straight line.)
Either that or use a more muted color scheme so there isn't such a contrast (although I suspect that was the point.)
Of course it does clearly delineate the different regions, so maybe we're off base.
Very nice maps in general though!