Size and shape tuneable ZnO nanostructures were prepared by a low frequency ultrasound (42 kHz) route using various organic solvents as the reaction media. The crystalline nature, lattice parameters and microstructural parameters such as microstrain, stress and energy density of the prepared ZnO nanostructures were revealed through X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis. The organic solvents influenced the size and morphology of the ZnO nanostructures, and interesting morphological changes involving a spherical to triangular shaped transition were observed. The visible emission properties and lattice vibrational characteristics of the nanostructures were drastically modified by the changes in size and shape. Raman spectral measurements revealed the presence of multiphonon processes in the ZnO nanostructures. The intensity of the visible emission band was found to vary with the size and morphology of the structures. The strongest visible emission band corresponded to the structure with the largest surface/volume ratio and could be attributed to surface oxygen vacancies. The control over the size and morphology of ZnO nanostructures has been presented as a means of determining the intensity of the visible emission band.