First, thank you for posting a fine piece of work done the traditional way, with just the appropriate amount of GIS input.
Designing for grayscale is always fun and challenging. A few things:
1. Visually, the international boundaries have more similarity to the highways than to the provincial boundaries. This is something I would definitely change. I'd go for a wider dashed line, perhaps with two small dashes as opposed to the one small dash for the provinces, so that it looks like a "senior" version of the same character of line.
2. The highways appear to be lost in all the relief. While it may actually be like that in Afghanistan, I think the highway casings could be darkened to make them more visible.
3. Type placement and other design elements are generally good. However, you may want to test print this on a couple of different printers. Sometimes grayscale maps can give you a surprise -- too light, too dark, subtle gradations lost, etc.
I have a draft of one map that I am excited to share - solely because I am frustrated at the way I tend to make these maps and my dis-satisfaction with the result.
It is a map of Afghanistan and part of Pakistan. The placement of certain geoplaces has been provided by the client/author, so the map is not intended to be a concise reference map.
The map is for a political/historical book.
I drew the map in Illustrator, drawing on mostly scanned maps and some GIS (updated provincial boundaries).
My bone of contention with the map is the need to provide relief and lots of labels in grayscale.
Only two Photoshop elements: relief and a dropshadow.
Would love to learn of other uses of Photoshop to make a map like this 'pop' while still being modern and clean. Any ideas or suggestions?