It's time I return to some basic experiments after (truth be known) struggling with less governed attempts at designing glyphs. Therefore I am trying to get to grips with a simple sans face in which the majority of contours are formed by expanding paths with minimal optical adjustment i.e. slight variation in stroke width/height. No doubt this is the kind of typeface you have seen many times, happily or otherwise.
I'd like to I extend some of this crude logic to the typically tapered joints. Clearly this is not achievable with expanded paths as it produces aligned extrema where they ought to be sheared (provisionally laid out in blue). What functions are there to aid construction of contours for a branched joint? I use the term construction because I readily admit to being humbled by my attempts to draw freely! For this thread at least may the eye inform the position of any central path (free, adjusted optically) but let the computer produce the contours (constructed accordingly).
Here is a very basic /u/ to introduce my problem, the central path is in red. What informs the provisional blue contours in a generic grotesque /u/?
I added a fictional gauge ball to help imagine what might govern the blue contours in a physical manifestation. Despite the red path being divorced from a physical implement, such as a pen, assigning an imaginary form allows me to imagine how the contours might form. This imaginary 'tool' would be required to vary in height (to accommodate adjusted thickness) and shear on it's path (to accommodate the taper) simultaneously and smoothly. Which functions might I use to translate this fictional sentiment to the digital design? If these functions are not available in FontLab should I be looking to scripting solutions and parametrics? Please, feel free to correct my imagination.
I hope that you can guide me to some solid resources and that this thread develops in earnest.
Thanks in advance.