Laminins are structural components of basement membranes. In addition, they are key extracellular-matrix regulators of cell adhesion, migration, differentiation and proliferation. This Commentary focuses on a relatively understudied aspect of laminin biology: how is laminin deposited into the extracellular matrix? This topic has fascinated researchers for some time, particularly considering the diversity of patterns of laminin that can be visualized in the matrix of cultured cells. We discuss current ideas of how laminin matrices are assembled, the role of matrix receptors in this process and how laminin-associated proteins modulate matrix deposition. We speculate on the role of signaling pathways that are involved in laminin-matrix deposition and on how laminin patterns might play an important role in specifying cell behaviors, especially directed migration. We conclude with a description of new developments in the way that laminin deposition is being studied, including the use of tagged laminin subunits that should allow the visualization of laminin-matrix deposition and assembly by living cells.