The manufacture of products and components possessing functional nano scale geometries has provided a great hurdle for scientists and engineers to overcome. At the micro nano scale the classical balance between bulk and surface properties breaks down and it is the surface properties which have the dominant effect on the function of the component/system. With the deepening understanding of the importance of the surface on the function of engineering components there has been a focus on 'designing' the surface topography to optimise functionality, this has taken the form of producing surfaces with controlled surface geometry consisting of patterned geometrical features at the micro/nano scale. The optimised functions are diverse and cover properties optical, tribological and biological function. Wide scale manufacture of these surfaces is limited by the lack of metrological quantification of the structures. The concepts behind the latest metrology techniques for quantifying nano micro scale surfaces are reviewed in this review paper along with examples of their application.