The retina, like many other central nervous system structures, contains a huge diversity of neuronal types. Mammalian retinas contain approximately 55 distinct cell types, each with a different function. The census of cell types is nearing completion, as the development of quantitative methods makes it possible to be reasonably confident that few additional types exist. Although much remains to be learned, the fundamental structural principles are now becoming clear. They give a bottom-up view of the strategies used in the retina's processing of visual information and suggest new questions for physiological experiments and modeling.