The deterministic structuring of a surface is having a profound effect on many industrial products by allowing the manufacturer to significantly alter the way in which a surface functions. This has led to a clear need in industry and academia for traceable areal surface texture measurements. To address this need traceable transfer artefacts and primary instrumentation are required. The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) is working on two projects – one to develop areal transfer artefacts and one to develop a traceable areal surface texture measuring instrument. The authors describe the development of the artefacts and instrument, and present some of the challenges that are still required to be able to offer an areal traceability measurement service to industry. The instrument has a working volume of 8 mm 8 mm 0.1 mm and uses a co-planar air-bearing slideway to move the sample. It also uses a novel vertical displacement measuring probe, incorporating an air-bearing and an electromagnetic force control mechanism. The motions of the slideway and the probe are measured by laser interferometers thus ensuring traceability of the measurements to the definition of the metre. The artefacts were manufactured using a range of machining technologies and in a range of geometries suitable for stylus and optical based instruments.