In last twenty years, the significant development of AIE materials has been witnessed. A number of small molecules, polymers and composites with AIE activity have been synthesized, with some of these exhibiting great potential in optoelectronics and biomedical applications. Compared to AIE small molecules, macromolecular systems—especially well-defined AIE polymers—have been studied relatively less. Controlled polymerization methods provide the efficient synthesis of well-defined AIE polymers with varied monomers, tunable chain lengths and narrow dispersity. In particular, the preparation of single-fluorophore polymers through AIE molecule-initiated polymerization enables the systematic investigation of the structure–property relationships of AIE polymeric systems. Here, the main polymerization techniques involved in these polymers are summarized and the key parameters that affect their photophysical properties are analyzed. The author endeavored to collect meaningful information from the descriptions of AIE polymer systems in the literature, to find connections by comparing different representative examples, and hopes eventually to provide a set of general guidelines for AIE polymer design, along with personal perspectives on the direction of future research.