How are sculpture and typeface design related?

What happens between the moment when the shape of a letter is conceived and the same letter is perceived by a reader?

The amount of time it takes to design a font hasn't been reduced significantly since the sixteenth century. Eventually designing a digital typeface is as laborious, meticulous and time-consuming as metal punch-cutting. Is the precision of computers allowing the creation of better typefaces or is it deviating the attention of designers? This project aims to find practical methods or tools to build digital fonts inspired from the sculptural process. It intends to accelerate the process by modeling the general aspect of a letter before defining its details: starting by choosing a 'material', sculpting the shapes out of the empty spaces and planning how these letters can vary for different purposes. A variable font will be created to test this methodology. This new format will allow the user to affect the shapes in the same way as a photograph on an image manipulation software. In addition to this, a version of the same typeface will be coded to change depending on the light conditions of the users environment.