Metals possess the highest conductivity among all room-temperature materials; however, ultrathin metal films demonstrate decent optical transparency but poor sheet conductance due to electron scattering from the surface and grain boundaries. This article discusses engineered metal nanostructures in the form of nanogrids, nanowires, or continuous nanofibers as efficient transparent and conductive electrodes. Metal nanogrids are discussed, as they represent an excellent platform for understanding the fundamental science. Progress toward low-cost, nano-ink-based printed silver nanowire electrodes, including silver nanowire synthesis, film fabrication, wire-wire junction resistance, optoelectronic properties, and stability, are also discussed. Another important factor for low-cost application is to use earth-abundant materials. Copper-based nanowires and nanofibers are discussed in this context. Examples of device integrations of these materials are also given. Such metal nanostructure-based transparent electrodes are particularly attractive for solar cell applications. © 2011 Materials Research Society.