This is the cover for a Japanese magazine, made in 1931. I think this is an example of armatures in use, because of the mixed use of typography, image, and shape. There may be rules in place, but the images themselves, the way they are cropped randomly unify everything . The typography rests on top and below the shapes, and there doesn’t seem to be an underlying grid. What bluntly unifies this design is the color palette. Notice the color of the typography can be matched with the colors in the shapes and images.
This design by Tschichold has an underlying column grid structure. He uses intense contrast in his design using only two colors, black and yellow. Tschichold uses asymmetry, negative space, and leading to compose his design, and in his writings he says these things are important when working with a grid.
This design uses an underlying grid, which consists of many columns. The images in the design are black and white, and the whole design is printed using only the colors black and red. This design is another good example of how to use contrast for a design. Adequate contrast in a design can be achieved through exploration of color, typography (bold, light, size), negative/empty space, and images, which can be placed by following a grid structure, or through random placement that randomly explores the unification of the design.
The grid is the underlying STRUCTURE in a design, it precisely defines the layout of the page. Armatures, on the other hand, are a way to unify or bind a design by using space and imagery through random placement to optically make a design work. The following are examples of designs that utilize either the grid, the armature, or both.