This chapter focuses on simple and intuitive ways of designing negative index metamaterials (NIMs). The chapter discusses the way in which one can unambiguously retrieve the effective refractive index of a given thin nanostructured layer from data accessible to measurements, and reveals difficulties in cascading individual layers in a bulk material. Various approaches to new design outlines, which are making active use of localized plasmonic effects, are also presented in the chapter. It also demonstrates an impedance-matched design to suppress reflection. It shows intuitive ways of designing NIMs where efficient magnetic resonators, which are used to provide the required negative permeability, are combined with bulk or semicontinuous metal elements to provide the necessary permittivity. The combined multilayered structure requires additional optimization due to the interaction of the elementary layers of periodic metal-dielectric composite with metallic strips. Numerical simulations show that a composite material comprising silver strips and a gain providing material can simultaneously have a negative refractive index and a 100% transmission.